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July 01, 2014 05:07 PM

Sparkler Safety On Independence Day

Sioux Falls, SD

Fourth of July weekend is just around the corner. As one of the most popular items, sparklers are legal within Sioux Falls city limits and are popular with kids. But officials warn of safety concerns, especially with small children.

"Teach your kids not to wave them around or run around," Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Mike Top said. "We don't want them falling down on top of it. Always have a bucket of water close by so that when you're done or when it's spent you can dump it in the water and cool it off and make sure it's doused before you put it in your trash to avoid trash fires."

Part of the reason sparklers can be dangerous is how hot they can get once lit.

"Sparklers can burn at temperatures over 2,000 degrees. So they're definitely very hot," Top said.

That's hot enough to melt metal. Several do-it-yourself websites show pictures of plastic cups shielding hands from sparks, but that can lead to an even more serious issue.

"I understand the thought is to keep the sparks off your hands and away from your hands. That might do it a little bit but I would be more fearful of that plastic melting and getting stuck onto your hand more so than getting sparks on there," Top said.

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue also encourages parents to not use sparklers when holding a young child. It's also important to stand and wear a closed toe shoe while enjoying sparklers.

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