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Independence Day is a popular time for fireworks vendors and consumers alike, but the Madison Fire Department reminds City residents and visitors that the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to seek out public displays conducted by trained professionals.

Approximately 8,000 people were seen in emergency rooms nationwide for Fourth of July fireworks-related injuries in 2015, according to a study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This accounted for 67% of all fireworks-related injuries that year.

Roman candles, fountains, bottle rockets, firecrackers, and similar products often sold at roadside stands are prohibited in the City of Madison due to their ability to cause great bodily harm and pose a fire safety threat. Penalties for use of these illegal products can range from $187.50 to $1000.00, plus court costs.

Sparklers, snakes, snaps, caps, and party poppers are legal in the City of Madison and are to be used with caution. Only light these products on or near non-combustible surfaces like concrete. Dispose of them in a bucket of water, and make sure they are completely cool before throwing them in the trash. Know that these items still present fire and burn hazards. For example, sparklers burn at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to cause third-degree burns.

Statistically, children and young adults are the most likely to be injured by fireworks and similar products. Parents and/or other responsible adults should provide close supervision to reduce the chance of accidents or injuries.

Even better, consider forgoing the consumer products and taking in a professionally-run show. You can rest assured the pyrotechnicians have worked closely with local municipalities to develop a show that is legal and as safe as possible.