Best fireworks safety practices

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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. -- People across the Mid-South are getting ready to celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks, but they are banned in most Mid South counties.

If you plan on picking up any last-minute fireworks, the last thing most people want is to end up seeing police or the doctor.

Fireworks are legal in West Memphis, and firefighters said it's important to be informed.

"You want to make sure that you have a water supply handy in case a fire does break out," Lt. Roger Lancaster, with the West Memphis Fire Department, said. "You also want to make sure that if a fire does break out, instead of you trying to put it out you want to go ahead and call 911 first."

Lt. Lancaster said this is one of the busiest days for the fire department.

"They account for the number one cause of fires today...two out of five structure fires are caused by fireworks," Lancaster said.

Those are just some of the reasons launching fireworks are illegal in Shelby County.

Additionally, fireworks are especially dangerous in the hands of kids.

"Sparklers, which are favored amongst kids, that is the number one cause for fire injuries with fireworks," Lancaster said.

Those legally allowed to light up the night with fireworks are urged to remember to keep themselves and everyone around them safe.

Mid-Southerners are reminded to check their local laws and ordinances to be sure what is and isn't allowed.