FIREWORK SAFETY: Experts urge reading directions - KMSP-TV

FIREWORK SAFETY: Experts urge reading directions

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With the Fourth of July just days away, fireworks sales are spiking as people prepare for the festivities -- but safety experts are all focusing on one question: Are you reading and following the directions?

Timmy Bates, 10, and his younger siblings are stocking up on sparklers. While their parents say they always supervise the kids, they did admit they rarely read the directions.

Many safety experts say most of the directions found on fireworks are either unclear, inaccurate or nonexistent. In fact, Becki White, of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, said it's troubling that so many have poor directions.

"It kind of goes to the fact of why we have so many people getting injured with these," she said.

It's hard to tell how high or far the sparks will fly when you light a fountain because that type of information is rarely found on the labels, but some advocates say those details could cut down on firework-related injuries.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates the fireworks industry and is in charge of the writing on the packaging. No one there responded to calls from FOX 9 News.

FOX 9 reporter bought a stash of glow worms and miniature fountains at a tent run by Renaissance Fireworks, and the salesman said it's the customer's responsibility to ask for help if they don't understand the directions.

"If they don't know what they are, it's my job to inform them of it," Chris said.

DPS officials recommend that residents refrain from using any firework they are unsure how to use.

The Eden Prairie Fire Department helped FOX 9 test several fireworks for this story to illustrate the risks they can pose. For example, the temperature on a sparkler can hit 1200 degrees and cause serious burns, but it doesn't say so on the box.

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