Princeton firefighters blow up watermelon demonstrating firework danger

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) – Setting off manufactured fireworks to celebrate Independence Day is a staple family activity or tradition, but if handled the wrong way, they could easily injure someone, like they did to a defenseless watermelon Princeton Fire Captain Mathew Mould and his team blew up Friday evening.

“We’re doing this to kind of simulate what it would be like to misuse fireworks,” Mould said.

In a field next to the Princeton City Fire Department, they blew up a watermelon with a bottle rocket style firework. The melon symbolized a person’s body and what happens when coming to close to an explosion.

“Last year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported about 10,000 firework related injuries and over 12 deaths,” Capt. Mould explained. “We completely understand it’s fun to set them off, but it has to be taken more seriously.”

The CPSC also reported hands, fingers, as well as the eyes and head, are the most frequently injured parts of the body. More than 50 percent of those were burn injuries. So what can people do prevent this from happening?

“It’s important to have a bucket of water or hose near you,” Capt. Mould said. “If you light a firework and it doesn’t ignite, never go back to ignite it. Just douse it with water and throw it away.”

Also be sure to stick to the instructions on whichever fireworks you buy. All manufactured fireworks typically come with instructions on the wrapper.

Remember adults should be using them instead of children because even sparklers can burn at 2,000 degrees. Perhaps the safest advice of all: leave it to the professionals.

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