Versailles, Ky. Although the Fourth of July is a time for fun and celebration, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System's (KCTCS) Kentucky Fire Commission encourages everyone to carefully follow instructions when celebrating with fireworks.

"Safety should be the top priority when dealing with explosives you have little to no control over," said Kentucky Fire Commission Executive Director Ronnie Day. "Every year people end up in hospital emergency rooms because they handled fireworks in an unsafe way."

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an average of 230 fireworks-related injuries near and on the 4th of July. Nearly one-third of these injuries are from sparklers. Considering a home oven is set at 350 degrees to bake a cake, it's not surprising that many people are injured by sparklers that can be as hot as 2,000 degrees.

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the many public displays; however, if you plan a home fireworks display in a county that allows it, here are some safety guidelines to follow:

  • Purchase fireworks from an established, reputable dealer.
  • Follow the manufacturer directions.
  • Have water available for extinguishment of discarded fireworks or an emergency.
  • Place legally purchased fireworks on a flat surface, clear of combustible materials and clear of all buildings.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep bystanders at least 25 feet away from fireworks.
  • Do not permit young children to handle or ignite fireworks.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • Remember to stop, drop and roll if your clothes catch on fire.

If you have questions about any firework product, contact your local fire department.