This time of year the Toledo Fire & Rescue Department receives many requests for safety tips and information regarding fireworks. Our reply is simple: leave fireworks to the professionals.

While we all will hear fireworks being set off this time of year, the fact is that it is illegal to shoot them off unless you are a licensed exhibitor. In 2013, 65% of all fireworks injuries occurred in the 30 days surrounding July 4. Last year there was 11,400 injuries related to fireworks.

While the “novelty” type fireworks are permitted under Ohio law, they too can be dangerous. These types of fireworks accounted for 25% of the emergency room visits.

These “novelty” type fireworks can burn at temperatures up to 1,200 degrees. These types of fireworks should only be used with adult supervision along with having a bucket of water to dispose of the used items. It’s also a good idea to wet the grass in the area in which these fireworks will be used to reduce the possibility of a grass fire.

Have an enjoyable and safe Fourth of July!