Wiregrass Newsroom: Safety First with New Year's Eve Fireworks

Dothan, AL (WSFA) -- The last thing you want to hear on New Year's Eve is a fire truck siren because of fireworks.

The National Fire Protection Association says over 90% of annual firework injuries are caused by consumer grade legal fireworks--the ones that you may buy.

"They're just simply improperly handled or people don't take the necessary precautions. The majority of the injuries we see nationwide and locally are to school-age children," says Captain Chris Etheredge with the Dothan Fire Department.

So what should you do to keep safe?

The Dothan Fire Department says there are a few key things to follow.

Keep a close watch on children.  Have a responsible adult shoot the fireworks.  Always make sure to follow label instructions.  Never try to relight a "dud" firework.  Always have water handy when shooting fireworks.

One popular firework may require a few extra measures.

"One of the biggest starters of fires is the common sparkler.  Hands and fingers are primarily what are injured by holding the fireworks or not releasing them in time," says Etheredge.

But all in all, fire fighters say they're a great way to ring in the new year.

"Fireworks can be very festive and very safe if you follow the manufacturers recommendations. Just be safe in all your actions," says Etheredge.

Safety first to help prevent the hurt.

Reporter: Melissa McKinney