Local News

Fireworks Bring Risk With Their Allure

Officials say watching a professional show is a lot safer than handling the rockets red glare yourself.

Posted Updated
Switch to classic wral.com

RALEIGH, N.C. — State Insurance Commissioner Jim Long staged a demonstration Monday to prove how destructive fireworks can be.

Long does it every year, and he has a good reason: people keep getting hurt. Just last year in Wake County, the 911 center responded to 132 fireworks-related calls.

The products certainly can be attractive, packaged in bright colors and carrying names and slogans like “Fun with a bang,” TNT, Rock Music, Shark and Morning Glory.

Kids of all ages love them, but Long urges, “Remember that they can hurt.”

It can happen almost in the blink of an eye.

Long and members of the Raleigh Fire Department used a scarecrow in a pink flowery dress and legal fireworks to show how quickly one of the most patriotic holidays can become the most dangerous.

Safekids North Carolina recommends that children not handle them at all.

“If they are ones that lift off of the ground,we see injuries to their head or just their bodies,” Safekids’ Kelly Ransdell said. “But the thing is they are so hot, and they don't have the perception that they are dangerous, and so what happens is they get burned or injured so quickly.”

Long has three safety tips for fireworks:

  • Do not let kids play with them
  • Do not do it in the grass or in the woods because of the drought we're experiencing right now
  • Have a garden hose ready.