HATTIESBURG, MISS. - Fireworks attract the eyes of thousands of people during the New Year’s holiday. However, unfortunately, hundreds of Americans have been affected by fireworks accidents. According to the Hattiesburg Police Department, fireworks are not allowed to be sold or possessed within the city limits, nor are they allowed to be shot.
However, residents are allowed to shoot fireworks inside the county. Loco Joe’s Fireworks manager, Patrick Hodges says people need to make sure they do a couple of things before setting off their firecrackers.
“The main thing you want to do is make sure your fireworks are always safe and level on hard ground that way they don't dump over,” Hodges said. “Because most of the time somebody gets hurt if it falls over. Then it ends up shooting towards your crowd. Some of these things you can get to one-hundred-forty feet out... So, if that's on the ground. I mean, it can reach way out there and get you.”
According to statistics, fireworks kill an average of seven people every year and injure 11,000 more.
“Just use common sense make sure you light it and get away with some of our bigger items,” Hodges said.
Hodges also urges people to put their cups down when handling fireworks.
“Most of the time there is drinking involved,” Hodges mentioned. “You know everybody is having a party... Having a good time, and they forget some of the common sense rules.”
Also when it comes to kids playing with sparklers, parents need to be watchful.
“Kids with sparklers, if you get the metal rod sparklers you know it's like handing your kid a welding torch,” Hodge explained. “So, if a kid accidentally turns around and touches another kid, it'll burn them.”
However, Hodge's golden rule centers around common sense.
“Right, you got to have a little common sense... Use your head,” Hodges said.
Firework professionals advise the public to not try and launch fireworks from any of their body parts. Believe it or not, a few people have tried it before and it did not turn out too well.