State fire officials are urging people to use caution when handling fireworks on the Fourth of July holiday, and not let children handle sparklers or other fireworks.
"A sparkler burns like three and a-half times the temperature that you're going to get in your oven, and most of us wouldn't let our kid play with an open oven or grab the pan right out of that," said Jon Nisja, a supervisor with the state Fire Marshal's Office. "Put a sparkler in their hand that's about 1,200 degrees, as opposed to, you know, the oven that's about 350 degrees."
Nisja also encourages people to avoid using fireworks near homes, dry grass, and other areas that can easily catch on fire.
"People have to recognize that fireworks are inherently dangerous," Nisjasaid. "They burn at very high temperatures, and the risk of injury to people and also damage to property is very real."
The State Fire Marshal's Office estimates that fireworks caused nearly $58,000 worth of damage last year. Eighty-four Minnesotans suffered injuries related to fireworks in June and July last year, including 17 children under the age of 10 years old.