LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - As the 4th of July approaches, many will be buying fireworks. But just remember, not all fireworks are legal.
Police say any type of firework that explodes or leaves the ground that includes firecrackers, bottle rockers, and mortars are illegal unless you hold a valid, fireworks permit.
"It really comes down to a quality of life issue. If you are shooting off bottle rockets and fireworks late at night, it's keeping families up, not able to go to sleep. Maybe they have to work in the morning and it's just disruptive," says Srgt. Randy Rank of the La Crosse Police Department.
Getting caught with illegal fireworks can be pricey. Police say the fine is $114.
Along with rules and regulations, comes safety concerns. Doctors treated more than 9,000 people for firework injuries according to recently-released numbers for 2011. More than half of those 9,000 had burn injuries. That's why it's important to follow directions when lighting fireworks and don't let kids near them.
"The burns and things from fireworks are actually from inappropriate use. There's a lot of safety precautions, when you light the fireworks you need to put them on the ground, light them, stay away and people just seem to be too close to them or do things that they really shouldn't be doing. The young children certainly it's very sad when young children come in with burns. It just shouldn't happen," says Dr. John Zernia of Gunderson Health System.
If you plan on lighting fireworks this week, health officials say wear eye protection and keep your body clear of the space above the firework.
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