Thousands of people go to hospital emergency rooms with injuries from fireworks each year, and most of these injuries occur around the Fourth of July.  Fireworks and celebrations go together, especially this time of year.  But area fire chiefs say you should leave the fireworks to the professionals, noting that most are still illegal in Illinois.

Fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious injuries if proper precautions are not taken.  Godfrey Fire Chief John Sowders:

Sowders comments

All fireworks are meant to be displayed at a distance- most injuries occur when people get too close.  A ten-year-old boy in St. Louis recovering after his hand was nearly blown off.  Martinez Smith-Payne and his younger brother were playing in a field near their home last Friday when they found a firecracker on the ground.  Martinez was holding it while it was lit, and the ensuing blast left him with only a thumb remaining on his left hand.  He's listed in good condition at an area hospital.  The bomb and arson squad is investigating to determine where the explosive came from.

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