Following loss of finger, Nokomis man cautions fireworks safety

Nokomis, Florida – During the pomp and patriotism surrounding the July 4th celebration, there is often stories of tragedy surrounding accident that involve fireworks.

"They wound up cutting this off and that off," Bruce Crisman said.

The Nokomis resident loss parts of his hand during an incident that took place on July 3rd while his was preparing for an annual Independence Day celebration.

"It didn't go off until I got too close to basically and I was two feet away from it when it went off," he said.

But that two feet was not enough to escape the serious damage that he suffered to his left hand.

"I lost my index finger, I lost pretty much everything that you can see here. I do have my little finger. … I do not have any of my first joints are all gone," he said.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that there were eight fireworks related deaths in 2013 and 11,400 injuries – a 31 percent increase from the previous year.

For Crisman, America's birthday celebration will continue as it always has, but the only thing involving fire will be the barbecue.

While he warns others to stay away from fireworks all together, he realizes that it not an option so advises people to take care to get away from them once the devices are lit.

Follow these safety tips when using fireworks:

-- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

-- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.

-- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.

-- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

-- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.

-- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

-- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.

-- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.

-- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

-- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

-- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.


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