It’s best to leave fireworks to the pros

If the results of last week’s online poll truly reflect the views of community members, the overwhelming majority have libertarian views on the use of personal fireworks.

While many folks can, and do, set off fireworks safely, the fact remains thousands of people – too often children – are injured every year by fireworks.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than two-thirds of all fireworks-related injuries every year occur between about three weeks before and after the Fourth of July. People younger than 20 years old accounted for about one-half of all injuries.

Most of the fireworks injuries were to the hand, eyes, head and ears. More than half of the injuries were burns.

It is legal to purchase fireworks in Ohio, but the buyer must agree and sign a form that they will take the fireworks out of state within a 48-hour period.

It’s a first-degree misdemeanor to falsify the address on the form. The law is almost impossible to enforce.

It’s also a first-degree misdemeanor to discharge the fireworks in Ohio. First-time offenders can be sentenced to up to six months in jail and fined up to $1,000.

Bottle rockets have been known to cause house fires if the bottle rockets land on a roof or on dry vegetation around the home. It has happened in Tiffin.

Even novelty items, such as sparklers, can cause injuries. Sparklers burn at more than 1,000 degrees and can cause clothing to ignite and burns to the skin.

There are many public fireworks displays to choose from in the area. This year, instead of setting off illegal fireworks in the backyard, consider putting safety first and opt for a public display.

The best advice on fireworks is to leave them to a professional.