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Fourth of July: Man injured by fireworks urges caution

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Fourth of July: Man injured by fireworks urges caution
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

A man who suffered multiple physical impairments following a 2007 fireworks accident is warning others to be careful this Fourth of July.

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Jason Henderson lost both hands and an eye in July 2007 when he was attempting to make his own fireworks based off of instructions he found online.

He was attempting to build an "M-80" firework, an explosive firework that sometimes is referred to as a salute.

Henderson now is appearing in a YouTube video on behalf of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The video can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ejj5TFvkjQ.

"There are no second chances when handling illegal explosive devices," said Bernard J. Zapor, the special agent in charge for the ATF St. Field Division.

Certain fireworks are legal in Minnesota. These include sparklers, fountains, wheels and ground spinners.

Illegal fireworks are explosive fireworks, aerial fireworks, firecrackers and bottle rockets.

According to the State Fire Marshal, 57 people were injured from fireworks in June and July last year. The number was done from 67 in 2007 and 64 in 2008.

Of those injured in 2009, 79 percent were male and 21 percent were female, according to the State Fire Marshal.

For those planning interested in using consumer fireworks, the following safety measured are recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

E Do not allow young children to play with fireworks under any circumstances.

E Older children should only be permitted to use fireworks under close adult supervision.

E Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from houses, dry leaves or grass and flammable materials.

E Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that don't go off.

E Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks.

E Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.

E Never ignite fireworks in a container.

E Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.

E Store fireworks in a dry, cool place.

E Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting.

E Don't experiment with homemade fireworks.

A man who suffered multiple physical impairments following a 2007 fireworks accident is warning others to be careful this Fourth of July.

Jason Henderson lost both hands and an eye in July 2007 when he was attempting to make his own fireworks based off of instructions he found online.

He was attempting to build an "M-80" firework, an explosive firework that sometimes is referred to as a salute.

Henderson now is appearing in a YouTube video on behalf of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The video can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ejj5TFvkjQ.

"There are no second chances when handling illegal explosive devices," said Bernard J. Zapor, the special agent in charge for the ATF St. Field Division.

Certain fireworks are legal in Minnesota. These include sparklers, fountains, wheels and ground spinners.

Illegal fireworks are explosive fireworks, aerial fireworks, firecrackers and bottle rockets.

According to the State Fire Marshal, 57 people were injured from fireworks in June and July last year. The number was done from 67 in 2007 and 64 in 2008.

Of those injured in 2009, 79 percent were male and 21 percent were female, according to the State Fire Marshal.

For those planning interested in using consumer fireworks, the following safety measured are recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

- Do not allow young children to play with fireworks under any circumstances.

- Older children should only be permitted to use fireworks under close adult supervision.

- Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from houses, dry leaves or grass and flammable materials.

- Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that don't go off.

- Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks.

- Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.

- Never ignite fireworks in a container.

- Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.

- Store fireworks in a dry, cool place.

- Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting.

- Don't experiment with homemade fireworks.

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Bethany Wesley
(218) 333-9200 x337
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