By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As we approach the Fourth of July, Philadelphia firefighters and paramedics are reminding people to be careful and avoid injury from fires and fireworks.

“Fireworks injure 9,600 people in the United States per year,” notes Tim McShea, vice president of the Philadelphia Firefighters Union, Local 22.

While most of us prepare for Fourth of July fun, his people are getting ready to respond to disaster.

More fires are reported on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year, according to the National Fire Protection Association, and two out of every five of those blazes are related to fireworks.

“Local 22 advises that the best way to enjoy fireworks and prevent injury is to watch the professional shows,” McShea says.

The union was also reminding barbecue warriors to be safe, especially around the propane and lighter fluid.  And, they warn, never use gasoline to ignite the grill.


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