KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – People are getting ready to light up the sky for the Fourth of July.
For Berkeley County resident Mike Pavlik, setting off fireworks is, “something as a family we’ve enjoyed for a long, long time.”
With over 15,000 firework injuries reported nationwide by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2020, firework safety is on the minds of many.
“When our kids were younger, we bought more benign fireworks, but they’re all older now,” Pavlik said. “So, we’ve gotten some heavy-weight fireworks, some aerials, and explosives.”
For families like Pavlik’s, keeping those holiday memories from turning into injuries can be a challenge.
Realynn Mccamick, who’s been selling fireworks for 10 years and is also a nurse, said even the tamest fireworks can cause injuries.
“Especially with children it’s always from sparklers,” said Mccamick, Manager of Nitro Fireworks.
She also said it’s important to know what to expect before you break out the matches.
“Make sure before you let them off you are aware of what you have and what they do and how to light them,” Mccamick emphasized.
As for those sparklers, she has a simple trick and all you need is a plastic cup.
“Put a little hole in the top and slide the stick down the cup,” she said. “So, you can light it, you don’t get that backsplash from it, which typically scares kids.”
For Pavlik, it all comes down to awareness and common sense.
“It’s great if there’s a large pavement area and usually, we like to keep a bucket of water close also,” he said.
Mccamick also said you should keep fireworks away from trees, buildings and flammable objects.