- Associated Press - Sunday, June 29, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Some Fourth of July advice from the state fire marshal: Leave fireworks displays to the professionals.

William Degnan said people often forget they are playing with explosives and each July 4th, thousands get injured.

He notes that wooded areas, homes, and even automobiles have become engulfed in flames because of fireworks.

“Fireworks are explosives devices and are dangerous and unpredictable,” Degnan said. “The few seconds of pleasure that firework displays may bring to family and friends are not worth the risk of permanent scarring, loss of vision and hearing, dismemberment or even death.”

David Parenti, president of the New Hampshire Association of Fire Chiefs, said a substantial portion of structure fire property loss is due to fireworks involving rockets. He said the rockets can land on rooftops and retain enough heat to cause a fire.

Degnan and Parenti advise residents to check with their local fire departments to make sure fireworks are permitted in the community; have an extinguishing device readily accessible, such as a water hose, bucket of water, or fire extinguisher; and avoid areas with dry brush, grass or debris.

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