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Firework safety -- no matter the size this 4th of July

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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (KMSP) -

With the Fourth of July right around the corner, many people are getting their fireworks display ready. While many consider Minnesota fireworks harmless, they can still do some major damage if you're not careful.

Some consider what they sell in Minnesota to be little more than glorified sparklers, and despite an attempt by some lawmakers to make most of the good stuff -- like they sell in Wisconsin -- legal here, Governor Dayton vetoed that bill to "leave it to the professionals."

Just a few days before the Fourth of July the staff at Hollywood Pyrotechnics has been busy getting ready for their biggest day of the year. They are preparing brilliant aerial displays for cities like Blaine and St. Louis Park. When it comes to backyard fireworks, Hollywood staffer Mira Lacous says "if it flies or explodes it's not allowed in Minnesota."

Known as class c fireworks, things like fire crackers, bottle rockets and aerial displays are illegal in Minnesota. While you can buy them just over the border, it's against the law to bring any back.

Even Minnesota's mild brand of "fireworks" can cause everything from burns to eye injuries, which is why Mira recommends safety glasses. She also recommends wearing cotton and avoiding synthetic fabrics like polyester than can melt to the skin. Keep a bucket of water on hand and always keep a safe distance.

"No matter how big it is, when it comes to fireworks, accidents can happen," added Lacous. That's why her crew ignites everything electronically. "There is no crew within about 100 feet. In most cases, 200 to 300 feet back."

 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says there are about 8.600 fireworks-related injuries each year. Just because you can buy it doesn't mean you should be shooting it off in your backyard. Some of those consumer fireworks can shoot 200 feet in the air.

No matter how big -- or small -- of a "blast" you have, be careful out there!

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