LAWTON, Okla._People, young and old, are getting excited for the chance to set off fireworks this weekend, but parents need to be aware just how dangerous they can be.
Tonight, we're taking a very graphic, and straightforward approach to the problem that might be unsettling for children or sensitive viewers. It hit home a few weeks ago when a young boy in Lawton severely injured his foot in an incident involving fireworks. Since then, the Lawton Fire Marshal's Office has been working with the boy's family to use his case as a warning to others.
The best advice he told me was just to be safe and to never forget that these are explosives. As we just mentioned, we do have some very gory pictures in the video, so don't watch the video if you don't wish to see them. We hope you will watch because we believe it's important to show you just how powerful they are.
In the video, you'll see the foot of a Lawton boy who was involved in a firework accident in his room. Lawton fire marshals say he went to stomp out a fire caused by the firework when it exploded. This is only one of the many firework related injuries every year.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 11 people were killed and more than 10,000 were injured because of fireworks between June 20 and July 20, 2014. Fireworks aren't a perfected concept and accidents can happen.
Assistant Fire Marshal Ray Brown says never make contact with a recently active firework.
"These devices explode. If it accidentally gets lit, if you are not aware the fuse is lit, if you think it's a dud. Explosives and soft tissue, such as skin, explosive wins," said Brown.
It is also important to remember that the fire danger doesn't necessarily end once you're finished setting the fireworks off.
"Afterward, make sure that you pick up all your trash and make sure you don't leave any smoldering embers behind to blow around and start a wild land fire," said Brown.
If you have extra fireworks after the holiday, it's smart keep them out of the house. They can be found and ignited, causing major structural damages and even injury. Brown says he hopes people realize they're not trying to scare people out of celebrating.
"We are not against patriotism at all. We understand the Fourth of July and its significance. We are just trying to keep everybody safe," said Brown.
The Fire Marshal's Office will be on full patrol this weekend. They will be cracking down on firework prevention, to make sure public safety is guaranteed.