First responders warn public about dangers of fireworks, sparklers

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The Fourth of July is just two days away, which raises many concerns for emergency responders.   

"In 2018 alone, we had over 9,100 cases reported in emergency rooms due to burns and fire-related injuries. That's about 250 cases per day," Miami-Dade firefighter Ozzy Norat said. 

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue is one department of many that has seen the worst of these accidents year after year.

"We see all kinds of injuries, from burns to missing fingers to body parts that have been charred," Norat said. 

On Tuesday, they teamed with the Miami Burn Center at the University of Miami to demonstrate the dangers of using common fireworks, even with the known favorite -- sparklers. 

"Sparklers, which are very common for kids to play with, can reach up to temperatures of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. They can burn some metals and glasses, so just imagine what it can do to your kids' eyes and hands," Norat said. 

Their advice is to leave it to the professionals.

"They've gotten third-degree burns in the creases of their hands and they've expanded the tendons, the bones, and they've set themselves up for a lifetime of scarring and deformity," said Dr. Nicholas Namias, of the University of Miami. "My advice is don't do it. My advice is go see a professional fireworks show and enjoy it. Don't do it yourself."