Fireworks safety tips ahead of Fourth of July festivities

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COLUMBUS, Ind. (June 28, 2015) -- A call for safe fireworks usage this Fourth of July. The owner of a Columbus fireworks store not only wants you to be safe, he teaches you how!

"Over the years, the fireworks are getting more powerful and better and they hone them where they'll shoot higher and do neater effects. People just don't think that it could hurt them," said Mark Goddard, owner of Mark and Jessie's Fireworks Shack.

He makes it his mission to teach his customers about safety.

"A bucket of water, a water hose, a fire extinguisher that shoots water, you should have all that," Goddard said.

If you're the one firing them off, wear safety glasses and a hat to protect your head from hot debris. Goddard also says to stay back at least 75 feet from where fireworks are being set off. If you're buying bottle rockets, don't set them off in a real bottle. Goddard sells firing tubes that only cost $4.99.

Steve Shoop of Columbus spent Sunday with his family looking for the best Fourth of July fireworks.

"Kids seem to like a lot of noise and a lot of lights. We've kinda gotten away from doing the individual lights," Shoop said.

He understands fireworks are fun, but need to be used safely.

"We haven't had a problem with them not going off like they're supposed to, but there's always that 'it could happen'," Shoop added.

The Indiana State Department of Health says there were 141 firework-related injuries in our state between September of 2013 and September of 2014. That is less than the previous year's data, but much higher than two cycles ago when there were only 83.

To learn more about fireworks safety tips, or to see a safety demonstration, you can call Mark Goddard at (812) 372-3855.

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