Tips for staying safe

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  • Use only sparklers and novelty items, as defined by the American Pyrotechnics Association. It is illegal to use consumer and display fireworks in Pennsylvania without a permit.  
  • Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper, which often is a sign that they’‍re intended for commercial use and could be dangerous to consumers. 
  • Use novelty items or sparklers only in wide, open areas.
  • Read and follow instructions carefully. 
  • Wear safety glasses. 
  • Light only one item at a time.
  • Do not try to re-light a firework that didn’‍t go off the first time. 
  • Never point or throw a firework at another person.
  • Don’‍t put a firework in your pocket or shoot it off in a metal or glass container. 
  • Keep a pail of water or a hose handy in case of emergency. 
  • Place used fireworks in a bucket of water to dispose of them. 
  • Do not tamper with fireworks or attempt to make your own.  
  • Never let children use fireworks without adult supervision.
  • Don’‍t drink and shoot off fireworks. Alcohol and explosives don’‍t mix.
  • No. 1 tip: Leave fireworks to the professionals. It’‍s much safer, and public fireworks displays are free.
  • — Compiled by Marisa Iati, from Jenny Ziembicki of UPMC Mercy Burn Center, Mark Pinchalk of Pittsburgh EMS, Carlos Schrader of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Bomb Squad, Ariel Aballay of West Penn Burn Center and 

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