Local experts offer firework safety tips

BELOIT, Wis. (WIFR) -- It's hard to think of the Fourth of July without thinking of fireworks, but lighting up the sky does come with some risk.

Experts are giving tips on what we should do before celebrating.

More than 20 years of selling fireworks has taught Cornellier Firework Supervisor Shanna Whitt a thing or two.

"There's certain classes that we can sell to Wisconsin, so any ground stuff we can sell to Wisconsin residents, and then any out of state residents can buy any fireworks that we sell," said Whitt.

While Whitt knows that fireworks are a great way to celebrate Independence Day, she and her coworkers know that you run the risk of getting hurt when playing with fire.

"I think the biggest thing is just to take the necessary precautions, so if it's a burn or a cut or whatever, you want to be able to ice it," said Whitt.

Mercyhealth Emergency Physician Matthew Smetana says there are simple things we all need to remember to protect ourselves.

"Never attempting to handle or re-light a firework that's misfunctioned is also very important. If a firework does not go off, leave it in a safe place for up to 20 minutes," said Smetana.

"Burns can get infected, so covering them with a sterile or clean piece of clothing or gauze is a good idea," said Smetana. "Every home should have a first aid kit that includes supplies to take care of burns."

Whitt says something as simple as checking the tips on each fireworks packaging could save us all a trip to the emergency room.

"Most of the time if you just follow the directions and you just use common sense, then you'll be safe," said Whitt.