SOUTHERN TIER, N.Y. (WENY) -- People are preparing for the Fourth of July, with celebrations kicking off in two days. During the holiday, people typically see a rise in firework-related injuries. There are ways to avoid unwanted injuries and prioritize fire safety.  

Lieutenant Stephen Walters, with the Town & Country Fire Department, said many people suffer hand injuries on the fourth.  

“People holding fireworks, lighting them in their hand...firework-related injuries can be easily avoided,” Lt. Walters said. “Make sure you’re standing at a safe distance, keep everybody back, be trained, at least know what you’re doing when you light them.” 

Children and fireworks are a dangerous combination. Lt. Walters said you should never allow children to ignite or handle fireworks and if you are going to light off explosives with friends and family, do it in a safe environment.  

“Don’t light them off in dead grass of brush or next to houses,” he said. “If you do have an incident, we highly suggest calling 911. Don’t try putting it out yourself.”  

What is legal and illegal in New York State? 

“Anything that goes above ground, that lifts off the ground, would be illegal in New York State,” Sergeant Patrick Pirozzolo, with the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office, said. “Sparklers...but they have to be metal sparklers. They can’t be the wooden ones.”  

Every year, Sgt. Pirozzolo said the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office receives a lot of calls during the holiday.  

“Unfortunately, around this time of year, everybody is shooting off fireworks...which we understand,” Sgt. Pirozzolo said. “Everybody is trying to have a good time, but we have to remember that not everybody likes them. It’s important to stay safe.”