FOND DU LAC — Independence Day is almost upon us and firework safety is top of mind.
The sound of fireworks is a sound to get used to, especially ahead of 4th of July weekend.
"They can be a lot of fun during the 4th of July, but they can also be a holiday-ender for people,” said Garth Schumacher, Division Chief of Fire Prevention with the Fond du Lac Fire Department.
As people prepare to celebrate, firefighters across the country are urging people dealing with sparklers or fireworks to use caution.
"They're very dangerous, especially when things go wrong. Things tip over. Things malfunction,” Schumacher said.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, consumer fireworks are responsible for nearly 20,000 fires across the country every year. The NFPA also said fireworks cause nearly 13,000 annual visits to the emergency room.
Firefighters said the best way to enjoy fireworks is just to go to a show put on by professionals. With eased COVID-19 restrictions, they do expect to see more people doing their own fireworks, too.
"I think we're going to see a rise, because of what we dealt with COVID and people being indoors,” Schumacher said.
When you are finished, experts say have a plan for disposing those fireworks.
"I'd treat it like hot charcoal. Like people that clean out their fireplace,” Schumacher said. “Don't put it in the trash, let it burn for days. Because you just don't know how long that stuff is going to smolder."
A simple reminder that could save a life.