Fireworks Pose Holiday Hazard

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July 03, 2008 LITTLE ROCK Traditionally, Americans celebrate our Independence Day with fireworks. While fireworks can be a lot of fun for the whole family, they can also pose a serious threat to users and to innocent onlookers. In 2007, in fact, about 9,800 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with fireworks. More than half the injuries were burns and most of the injuries involved the hands, eyes, and legs. The Attorney General's Office wants everyone to have a safe and happy holiday; accordingly, General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert to provide safety tips and remind Arkansans of state regulations concerning fireworks. Arkansass Fireworks Act controls the sale and use of fireworks and requires sellers to obtain a license and follow other requirements in order to sell fireworks legally in the state. Permits are issued for several levels of sales, but no licenses will be approved for anyone under the age of 21. In some instances, the law prohibits sales, including those to children under the age of 12 and to persons who are intoxicated. The law also requires that only fireworks designated as Class C are permitted for use. This includes Roman candles, skyrockets, helicopter-type rockets, cylindrical fountains, cone fountains, wheels, illuminating torches, mines and shells, firecrackers and salutes. However, these items are restricted according to the amount of explosives they contain. All fireworks must be labeled with the words: I.C.C. Class C Common fireworks. Non-exploding items, such as cones, bottle, tube or other serpentine pop-off novelties, nonpoisonous toy snakes, smoke sticks without report, and sparklers may be sold at any time.Even if fireworks are legally purchased, they can still cause serious injury or even death. Children are especially vulnerable: one out of every three people injured in fireworks-related accidents are children under 15 years of age. Even kid-friendly" fireworks can pose a serious threat to your child. Sparklers