They're beautiful, colorful, exciting and a Fourth of July tradition.  But they are also dangerous.  Every year we hear stories of people getting burned, losing a finger or worse, due to improper use of fireworks  With the Fourth of July holiday just days away, I'd like to pass along a few fireworks safety reminders courtesy of the National Council on Fireworks Safety.

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Obey local laws.
Children should NEVER be allowed to ignite or set-off fireworks.
Wear safety glasses.
Avoid alcoholic beverages.  Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
Fireworks should be used outdoors only and away from buildings and vehicles.
Have a metal bucket of water or water hose readily available.
Never use homemade fireworks.  That is a recipe for disaster.
Light one firework at a time and back away quickly.
Never try to relight a dud.  Dunk it in a metal pail of water.
Wet down used fireworks by placing in a metal pail of water.
Did you know that sparklers cause just as many injuries as fireworks?  The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of up to 2,000 degrees.
My personal advise?  Go to your town's fireworks display and leave the job to the professionals.  If you want to learn more about fireworks, visit www.fireworkssafety.org.  Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!