SALTILLO, Miss. (WTVA) -- For many like Mr. John Simmons, New Year’s Eve celebrations and fireworks go hand in hand.
"That’s one time of the year we like to celebrate with fireworks," said Mr. Simmons.
But the fun of fireworks can quickly take a turn for the worst.
“I had a relative several years ago that — the cherry bombs exploded, and he lost a couple of fingers and parts of fingers," said Mr. Simmons.
Because of his personal experience with the dangers of fireworks, Mr. Simmons says he always exercises caution when using the seasonal favorites.
Tupelo Fire Marshal Cathy Gault warns you can never be too cautious when dealing with explosives.
"It’s very important that you are responsible with fireworks," said Gault.
It’s also important, Gault says, to be aware of your local laws when it comes to fireworks. For example, it’s illegal to use fireworks in Tupelo. But Gault did offer several tips for those in neighboring cities like Saltillo where it’s legal to use fireworks.
"Always read the directions. If you’re not sure how to do it, there’s always directions on there," said Gault.
Mr. James Sanders says it's advice he offers to his customers regularly.
"Fireworks are safe, and it’s like anything else — you can abuse it, and sometimes the lack of knowledge of what you’re doing has a big effect on things,” said Mr. Sanders.
Gault says always have adult supervision and keep fireworks out of the hands of children.
Another tip is to have water on hand in an area that is suited to shoot fireworks. Also, use it in an open space.
Gault adds if a firework is a dud, put water on it and do not try to re-light it because that’s when injuries can occur.
Other tips include wearing eye protection when lighting fireworks, never pointing or throwing fireworks at another person and never having any portion of your body over the firework.
With these tips in mind, firefighters hope you can have a fun and safe start to 2014.