LEESBURG, Florida – A Florida man blew off most of his hand while lighting mortar-type fireworks Thursday night.
According to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, 27-year-old Brett Demascio attempted to re-light one of the fireworks that had launched but not exploded on Virginia Drive in Leesburg, Florida.
When Demascio picked up the firework to re-light it, the mortar exploded in his hand.
The Florida man was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries but with most of his hand unattached to his arm.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 230 people on average go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries around the July 4th holiday.
The CPSC advises the following fireworks safety tips:
1. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
2. Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
3. Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
4. Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
5. Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
6. Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
7. Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
8. Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
9. Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
10. After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
11. Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.