When I was 12 years old a firecracker exploded in my hand. I can remember, even now, how it felt, and how it frightened me.
From then on, I tended to watch fireworks rather than light them.
For many Alabamians consumer fireworks are a traditional part of our Independence Day celebrations.
For me, watching a professional fireworks display is much more enjoyable.
From the latest Consumer Product Safety Commission statistics.
An estimated 9,600 people were treated for fireworks related injuries in 2004.
In Alabama it is against the law to sell fireworks to anyone under 16 years of age unless they are accompanied by an adult.
If you use consumer fireworks this July 4th make certain there is an adult present.
Always have a garden hose or a bucket of water handy.
Light only one at a time. Use your common sense.
And remember, the shortage of rain and dry conditions in Alabama should give you one more reason to use fireworks carefully.