COLUMBIA, Mo. - Firework sellers say sales are up this year, but emergency crews are warning about the dangers of fireworks.
This time last year, more than 5,000 people in the United States went to the emergency room because of fireworks injuries.
More than half were burns to the hands and face, but those numbers were an improvement since 2011.
A single firework is all it took to blow a watermelon to smithereens."It just shows the sheer power of that explosion when they go off," said Gale Blomenkamp, battalion chief, Boone County Fire Protection.
They are powerful explosions that can easily injure anyone using fireworks if not careful."You can see the damage it causes at the end of the show so we don't want that to be somebody's hands, lap or residence," Blomenkamp said.
One danger often overlooked are sparklers.
The child's firework can be dangerous.
Officials tell us the first step to keeping safe is reading the label.
Sparklers can reach up to 2,000 degrees.
Today we measured one sparkler reaching 342 degrees.
"We always say they are not made to be held in our hands, set up on the ground, light them off, use caution," Lance Brown, family fireworks vendor said.
Family fireworks say it knows the routine and advise customers how to keep safe with fireworks small and large.
The company, along with emergency crews don't want any preventable accidents to happen.
After you're done, fire officials say to be careful about throwing away used fireworks.
Boone County has been called to several house fires because someone didn't properly dispose them.
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