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Officials Warn Public About Outdoor Activity Dangers

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Sarah-Arbogast-Web Sarah Arbogast
Sarah Arbogast joined the KDKA team as a Traffic Reporter in November...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – With summer comes a lot of outdoor activities from grilling, to setting off fireworks, to sitting by a campfire.

But, all the fun activities can present some pretty serious danger, too.

Today, some first responders showed us exactly what can happen, if you’re not careful.

For many, Fourth of July fireworks are one of the highlights of the summer. But, when set off in the wrong hands, the results can be deadly.

Today, Pittsburgh Firefighters and members of the Bomb Squad showed the dangers first-hand.

They installed homemade fireworks in two watermelons and detonated them.

“Most people think they have more time, they light that little wick on there and again they don’t know how long that wick is or what the timing is on it. It could be five seconds, it could be 20 seconds,” Det. Carlos Schrader said.

It’s not just the larger fireworks you need to be concerned with either. Even sparklers can cause serious injuries. Fire officials recommend a safe alternative, such as glow sticks.

“The bottom line is leave the fireworks to the professionals. Zambelli, Pyrotechnics, these are the companies that do this all the time. Go down to the Point, the City of Pittsburgh has fireworks all the time. They’re the best you’re going to get anywhere,” Schrader said.

Besides fireworks, gas and charcoal grills and even campfires can create problems if you’re not careful.

One big safety tip is to never use accelerants on fires.

That may sound obvious, but doctors at the burn center at UPMC Mercy treat about 10,000 injuries caused by outdoor related activities each year.

About 50 percent of those injuries are children and a significant amount are caused by fireworks.

“We see devastating eye injuries, loss of limbs, lifelong disabilities for things that can easily be prevented,” UPMC Mercy Burn Center Director Jenny Ziembicki said.

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