PRINCETON, WV (WVNS)– Fireworks add a special touch to backyard Independence Day celebrations. After all, what’s a Fourth of July celebration without sparklers and firecrackers? Since 2016, it’s been legal for Mountaineers to buy and set off some fireworks. But sometimes the party gets out of hand.

Emergency Operations Center officials in the area said it is important not to aim fireworks at people, pets or houses, or cars.

Taking other precautions may stop a tragedy.

“Always have a bucket of water, in case there is a fire or to soak your sparklers in after you’re finished,” advised Mercer County 911 Center Dayshift Supervisor Julie Lockhart on Monday. “So, that way you don’t throw those away, and they’re still hot, and they could cause a fire.”

Folks should also consider their neighbors when setting off their favorite fireworks. When backyard fireworks go for days or late into the night, it can upset pets and keep working people from getting sleep.

Lockhart said it is important to set off fireworks on the days and times that are set by local ordinances.

Folks may face fines if they break those laws. She added that the Mercer 911 Center has seen fewer fireworks complaints this year.

“Actually. it seems the citizens of Mercer County have actually behaved themselves this year, in reference to fireworks calls,” reported Lockhart. “We haven’t been getting as many, so, I feel the people have been very diligent and respectful for their neighbors this year.”

State lawmakers left some more explosive fireworks, like skyrockets and Roman candles, to the experts. But West Virginians may legally put on an impressive backyard show with sparklers, snakes, party poppers, snaps, and smoke bombs.

They just need to make sure they’re keeping safe and being respectful of their neighbors, officials advised. Different towns have different rules about fireworks. Residents may call city hall or check city websites for laws about fireworks in their own towns.