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Local fire officials urge caution this July 4th

Local officials say the best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a show put on by professionals. If you are lighting fireworks yourself this holiday, keep in mind that in North Carolina legal fireworks cannot leave the ground. (Photo Credit: WLOS Staff).

As we head into the July 4th holiday, local fire officials want everyone to celebrate safely and abide by the law if lighting fireworks.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says eight people died in fireworks-related emergencies last year, and more than 12,000 were injured.

It reports 67 percent of those injuries happened during the weeks before and after the 4th of July-- and that sparklers were the number-one cause of injuries.

We talked with Public Information Officer Kelley Klope of the Asheville Fire Department about safety tips for lighting fireworks.

Klope said sparklers can reach 1200 degrees, and cause third-degree burns.

Fire officials say the best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a show put on by professionals.

Click here to see the plans for Downtown Asheville's Independence Day Celebration.

If you are lighting fireworks yourself this holiday, keep in mind that in North Carolina legal fireworks cannot leave the ground.

Klope says to make sure only to light fireworks on a sturdy surface, away from grass or brush, and have a bucket of water nearby.

Also keep children and pets away from fireworks.

Klope says most injuries from fireworks happen to kids and teens between the ages of 10 and 14.

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