Having a blast while staying safe

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KAIT) - Fourth of July weekend is a fun time for families to get out by the pool, grill and shoot off some fireworks, and with that fun it's important to be safe.

The fireworks stands were packed Saturday afternoon, with everyone looking to stock up on bottle rockets, roman candles, and sparklers. And while the power-packed rockets light up the sky, they could ignite a fire if you're not careful.

When the sun goes down this forth of July weekend you'll see it and hear it. Those pyro-technic bursts of colors lighting up the sky. Gaige and his dad are from Piggott but came up to Poplar Bluff Saturday to loaded up on the light up goodies. "We got tanks, bottle rockets, all kinds of stuff," said Gaige, who getting ready to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend right.

His dad Sean Martin says it become a yearly routine. "It's something he and I like to do. It's something I did growing up as a kid with my parents, and I'm just passing it down to him. We like to get out in front of the house and set up some fireworks and put them on display for the neighbors," said Martin.

But while you're having a good time, Martin says it's important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings. "Especially right now it's been hot and dry. Everybody should be really careful with fireworks, not to try and start a fire somewhere."

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in 2009 fireworks sparked around 18 thousand fires, and destroyed 38 million dollars worth of direct property.

Their advice:

- Never light fireworks inside or near dry grass.

- Always read over the directions and warnings. If it's not marked, don't light it.

- and keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher handy, just incase something gets out of control.

As for Gaige, when it comes to shooting off fireworks, he's going to leave to the experts. "Well, as long as my dad does it I'm okay," said Gaige.

"We try to be as safe as we can when we do our fireworks," said Martin.

For more tips on playing safe this holiday weekend just go to http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/focus/fireworks.shtm or http://www.cpsc.gov/info/fireworks/

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