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Staying safe on the Fourth of July

Posted at 11:05 AM, Jul 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-04 13:09:34-04

Business is booming at fireworks stands across the country.

While the focus at South Carolina’s Area 51 is on getting the biggest bang for your buck, it’s also on safety.

“You’ve got to behave safely and you’ve got to have somebody there to help you,” says owner Doug Cianfooca. “And don’t drink. That’s the whole key.”

More than 9,000 people were hurt in fireworks-related accidents last year.

Doctor J.R. Young sees injuries including cuts, burns and permanent disfiguration.

“Of children that had injuries to the eye with fireworks, 30 percent of those lead to blindness, permanent blindness,” he warns.

Pets are also at risk. Fireworks can injure or spook them, so experts advise pet parents to update all tags and microchips. Even better — put them in an escape-proof room.

If barbecuing, keep them away from hot grills and sharp grill skewers.

For the millions who’ll be cooking out, the USDA has this message to prevent foodbourne illness: “Clean. Separate. Cook and chill.”

That means wash your hands, keep uncooked meat separate from other food, cook it to the proper temperature and chill leftovers within an hour.