Fireworks safety starts with common sense

We tested an artillery shell firework on a watermelon to see the sheer power of the explosives.

Fireworks are an American tradition on the Fourth of July. While they're fun to look at and set off, it's important to understand how to stay safe this holiday weekend.

The most important tip is common sense: follow the instructions on the packaging. Don't stand over the firework as you're lighting it, and make sure everyone maintains a safe distance.

If you buy fireworks and they come with a tube, that's how they're meant to be shot. On a windy day, the tube might fall over. Itâ??s important to reinforce tubes into the ground.

When the show's over and it's time to clean up, it's important to properly dispose of the trash.

"We have seen people that have put them in the trash can,â?? said Battalion Chief Gale Blomenkamp of Boone County Fire. â??At three in the morning we're out there for a structure fire because they've reignited or they've caught on fire."

High-flying fireworks aren't the only dangers on the fourth of July.

"Even sparklers, which can be lots of fun to play with, burn at approximately 1200 degrees," said Dr. Marc Borenstein of University Hospital.

"The trouble we have is when kids are around and maybe come in contact with another child,â?? said Blomenkamp. â??It doesn't take long, and you can cause second and even third degree burns on your skin. They are safe if used correctly and with the right adult supervision."

If done properly and legally, fireworks are a great way to celebrate America.