AUGUSTA, GA. (WJBF)– The holiday weekend starts tomorrow, and a lot of people are going to be shooting fireworks to celebrate America’s independence.

But if you’re not careful, that fun night of blowing stuff up could land you in the hospital.

There’s nothing like a good fireworks show. But those little fireworks can pack a dangerous punch. So the Augusta Fire Department and Burn Center of America want to show people why it’s so important to handle fireworks safely when you light up the sky.

“The 4th of July is a great holiday, you know, celebrating our nation’s birth and everything. Um, a lot of people like to celebrate that by using fireworks,” Augusta Fire Dept. Public Information Officer Jason DeHart said.

But, things can become dangerous if those fireworks are not handled safely.

“There is no safe way to use a firework,” DeHart said.

Just two years ago, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported at least 18 people died from firework-related incidents. 

Dr. Rizal Lim Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at the Burn and Reconstructive Center of America says he’s experienced quite a few 4th of July incidents. 

“Generally, we see a approximately 30% of those are hand, which is primarily of what we treat here, but can also include– um– ears, nose, mouth.” 

The Augusta Fire Department and the Burn and Reconstructive Center of America want to assure the community that fun can mean safety as well. 

“We really, really want you guys to go out and use some safety steps and, and really practice these safe safety steps that way– we don’t want a celebration to turn into a tragedy,” DeHart said. 

With drier grounds, Augusta Fire says, it’s important to be mindful of lit fireworks hitting the floor.

“Reality is, if you have a dry patch of grass that you are shooting fireworks over, that may turn into a brush fire,” DeHart said.

During the demonstration, firefighters showed how aiming a firework, of any kind, can impact a person terribly. 

“I’ve actually seen a fair amount of patients who have lost a significant number of digits, um, and had, and had essentially um, you know near loss of their hands from accidents like this,” Dr. Lim said.

In 2020, more than 15-thousand fireworks injuries were reported. This year, rescue workers say they hope that number goes way down. And they hope demonstrations like this one will encourage people to be safe while celebrating America’s birthday.