Many Americans cannot imagine the Fourth of July without fireworks, but state officials say it's very important to keep safety measures in mind when setting off the colorful and loud pyrotechnics. Brant Thompson with the State Fire Marshal's Office says the gravity of exercising care while using fireworks cannot be over stated.
"Improper handling or illegal use of fireworks can spoil what should be a great time by inflicting serious bodily injury and causing significant property damage," said Thompson.
Thompson says it's estimated that fireworks cause over 18,000 fires each year in America, which includes approximately 2,000 structures and vehicles, resulting in millions of dollars in damages.
"And to put that into perspective, one in every four fires cause by fireworks occurs on July 4th," said Thompson.
Thompson says they encourage revelers to take advantage of the many organized celebrations throughout Louisiana where the fireworks displays are conducted by professional pyrotechnic operators.
He says those that do put on a private show should be sober, wearing safety goggles and have a hose or bucket of water nearby.
"Fireworks should only be used outdoors. One should always be aware of their surroundings. And children should never be allowed to discharge or ignite fireworks," said Thompson.