Sparklers are more dangerous than most realize, experts say

Posted at 4:30 AM, Jun 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-27 07:33:27-04

BURLINGTON, Ky. -- As people head to area fireworks stores ahead of Fourth of July festivities, they may be surprised to learn that one of the most dangerous fireworks may be the simplest.

A Tri-State Fireworks in Wilder, Tony Burns said the store is stocked up and ready, but they also advocate safe fireworks fun.

"If they're buying the biggest thing we have, we're always leery abut where they're going to set it off and whether it's safe or not," Burns said.

But the most dangerous item on the shelf there is sparkers, according to Burns.

"It causes more injuries because small children are holding a hot metal rod," he said.

According to Burlington Fire Protection District Chief Jeff Barlow, sparklers burn at between 1,200 and 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sparklers cause about of 19 percent of fireworks injuries, and about one fourth of those injured are children, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. They recommend adult supervision of children with sparklers and having a bucket of water nearby.

Barlow said children need to know how hot sparkers can get.

"If they're too young to understand that, it's probably best not to give the sparkler to a child," he said.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission also offers the following fireworks safety tips:

  • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap
  • Light fireworks one at a time and then move back quickly

Here in the Tri-State, it's also worth noting that Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana each have different laws regarding fireworks.

In Ohio, fireworks can be purchased in state, but must be moved out within 48 hours. Only items which are designated “trick and novelty” which smoke, pop, and/or sparkle are allowed. Items like fire crackers and bottle rockets are illegal.

Fireworks can be used on private property in Indiana, as long as the owner has consented.

In Kentucky, fireworks laws vary across the state. Check out the state fire marshal's information about fireworks online.