Use caution with shell-and-mortar-style fireworks

Published: Jul. 1, 2018 at 8:04 AM EDT
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"There's always that possibility that any fireworks, or anything in general, can be misused especially by somebody who is not thinking, who is drinking and not paying attention to what they are doing," said Ron Knutson, Memory Fireworks Employee.

Knutson warns everyone to use fireworks correctly because there is always a risk.

A study from The American Journal of Emergency Medicine shows that fireworks can cause serious injuries.

In fact, the study shows that over one-third of firework injuries from their data is from shell-and-mortar-style fireworks.

This type of firework is where a shell is loaded into a tube one at a time. When lit, it launches a large firework into the air.

Proper use of this type of firework is key.

"Make sure you pay attention to what you are doing, and put the ball all the way to the bottom of the tube,” said Knutson. “The fuse sticks out about two inches. Light it and like any firework, you have to get way back toward the audience before it goes off."

The study says 39 percent of injuries are from this firework.

Carl Vinje, a Fargo resident, says his favorite firework is the mortar, but he fully recognizes the danger that comes with it.

"There's a little bit of danger to them because obviously it's going to explode,” said Vinje. “There's fire, you’ve got to run away at a certain time, it might be a dud or it might not then you get the payoff of the explosion and sound."

It is recommended by Memory Fireworks to always follow directions to stay safe.

Here are some tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety on how to remain safe with fireworks:

- Read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.

- Only let responsible adults supervise all firework activities.

- Wear safety glasses.

- Do not drink and use fireworks.

- Always have a bucket of water nearby.

- Never relight a "dud" firework.

- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.

- Only use fireworks in outdoor, clear areas.