Green Bay Metro Fire shows why you should leave fireworks to the professionals

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Many of us may already be hearing the sound of fireworks as we near the Fourth of July holiday, but police and safety experts want people to leave fireworks to the professionals.

Bits and pieces of watermelon explode into the air after the mortar firework went off

To show the dangers of fireworks, the Brown County Sheriff’s Office along with the Brown and Outagamie County Bomb Squad stuck a mortar tube firework inside a watermelon. Authorities say the watermelon represents the human body. The watermelon blew to pieces as the firework exploded.

"We've gone as law enforcement officers to (a scene) where somebody actually stuck their arm over a mortar tube and it got torn off," said Christopher Knurr, a bomb squad commander for the Brown and Outagamie County Bomb Squad.

"There's been over last year 11,000 injuries reported due to fireworks and 92-percent of those were seen in the emergency department nationwide," said Lt. Shauna Wachholz, life safety educator for Green Bay Metro Fire Department.

The experiment , which wasrequested by the Green Bay Metro Fire Department, is designed to show what could happen if you're careless around fireworks.

"It would rip your arm off, and you could end up blowing your head off. It’s just very dangerous to be around something that if you're not taking the right precautions that it could really injure you," Knurr adds.

Fireworks are illegal in the state except for those that don't leave the ground, including smoke bombs, noise makers and sparklers. Green Bay Police say without a permit, you're looking at a $376 citation.

Even though sparklers are not illegal, Wachholz says they still hold a high risk of burn injuries, especially to younger children.

"Have a bucket of water, a hose, extinguisher, something that they can put the fireworks out. Make sure that you're lighting sparklers and other things like that not by clothing or anything flammable -- and if you do get hurt, go see a medical professional," said Wachholz.

For a list of professional firework shows in the area click here

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