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The 4th of July is a great time to celebrate our nation’s birthday with family and friends. It’s also a good time to remember some safety tips during this holiday weekend.

“We all enjoy celebrating the birth of our nation with family and friends,” said Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin’s adjutant general and Wisconsin’s Homeland Security advisor. “Cookouts and fireworks are part of the fun for many Americans. However, make sure you’re thinking about safety first when you’re enjoying the day.”

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 200 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the weeks surrounding the July 4th holiday. Officials say many of the fireworks accidents could have been prevented:

• Most injuries were burns to hands, fingers, head, legs and arms
• One-third of the injuries were to children under the age of 15 years old
• 74 percent of injured were male
• Sparklers are the number one cause of burns around the July 4th holiday

Fire and safety officials recommend the following safety tips when lighting fireworks:

• Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. Adults igniting the fireworks should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework
• Only buy legal fireworks from reliable sellers
• Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks
• Always have water (a garden hose or a bucket) ready in case of a fire
• Light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from buildings, dry leaves and flammable materials
• Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly
• Never throw or point fireworks at other people or animals
• Keep your pets indoors to reduce the risk that they will run loose and get injured. Many animals have very sensitive ears and can be stressed or frightened by fireworks

Also remember to play it safe over the holiday:

• Drink plenty of water and limit your alcohol and caffeine intake
• Never leave people or pets inside a parked car. Even with the windows cracked open, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach over 100 degrees in minutes
• Have an emergency kit in your vehicle. It should include a first-aid kit, bottled water and some energy bars. A car adaptor for your cell phone is also a good idea in case you need to call for help
• Learn about the latest traffic and road conditions by contacting 511 Wisconsin. This information, along with live traffic cameras and traffic alerts, can be accessed on the 511 Wisconsin system, which includes a free mobile app. @511 on Twitter, or at
• When attending various parades, fireworks displays and other gatherings, if you see something suspicious, remember to contact law enforcement. If you See Something, Say Something

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