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How to stay safe, not get burned this firework season

Posted at 7:49 PM, Jul 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-03 21:49:58-04

SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah Burn Center is warning Utahans and their families about lighting fireworks and campfire safety this summer.

Managing nurse at the burn center, Brad Wiggins, said July through Labor Day is their trauma season.

“We really think that families should talk to their children about the dangers,” said Wiggins.   “Children under the age of 15 should not be playing with any type of firework device.  Those are the things that lead to fires, leads to amputations, and loss of fingers, significant burn injuries."

Wiggins wants parents and adults to have a serious conversation about safety.

“Are you talking to your loved ones? Are you talking to the people around you? Or are you trying to do things you see on YouTube,” asked Wiggins.

Wiggins and his Burn Disaster Coordinator, Annette Newman, said sparklers are the most deceptive of the fireworks because they look easy to use.

“They are so beautiful and everybody forgets that sparklers are pretty simple yet get hotter than a blow torch,  hotter than 1200 degrees,” said Newman.

The National Fire Protection Association said sparklers can get as hot as 2,000 degrees.  That’s hotter than boiling water and burning wood.

They said to be prepared if you are going to light legal, fireworks in non-restricted areas.  Newman and Wiggins said to have fire extinguisher nearby and a bucket of cold water to throw on burning skin.  They also said to soak fireworks in water for 12 hours before throwing them in the trash.