BEAVER, WV (WVNS) — Over the past several years, officials have seen an increase in firework-related injuries in the United States.

A study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows an estimated 11,500 emergency-treated injuries involving fireworks occurred in 2021, with six fatalities caused by the misuse of fireworks.

Will Davis is with the Beaver Volunteer Fire Department.

He said the best way to stay safe when using them is to follow the instructions.

“I love fireworks, especially when it’s safe and the safest way to do fireworks is to follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions. You want to make sure that you’re outside and in a safe area, away from anything combustible, away from houses, away from the woods, and that adults are the ones that are handling these fireworks,” Davis said.

While fireworks can be dangerous after they go off, they are at their most dangerous when they don’t go off.

“Sometimes, when you have lit a firework, they don’t go off. You have a dud but you have to be really careful. They can spontaneously reignite. So just because a firework goes, excuse me, doesn’t explode doesn’t mean it’s not going to. So, the best idea if you’ve lit one: never relight it, never try to light a short fuse because its gone out,” Davis said.

Davis said if you do have a dud, wait 10 or 15 minutes and then carefully pick it up and place it in a bucket of water for about an hour to make sure the fuse or anything which might still be lit is out.

Of course, while fireworks are fun, it isn’t the only thing people like to fire into the air.

“There are times that I’ve heard of people that are, instead of firing fireworks, firing pistols. Well, that is against the law. You can’t fire pistols into the air because if something goes up, it’s going to come back down. And the chance of getting hurt by that, although very small, it could be very deadly,” Davis said.

And if you plan on drinking tonight, make sure to have a designated driver with you.