Officials urge people celebrating the holiday, which is Thursday, to follow safety precautions and restrictions, as well as show consideration for those who may not appreciate all the noise and bursting light.

In Mingo County, Sheriff James Smith wanted to remind residents that property owners must give consent for fireworks use and that anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol may not use fireworks.

A West Virginia state law that took effect in 2016 allows for the retail sale of consumer fireworks such as firecrackers, bottle rockets, mortar shells and roman candles. Prior to the legislation, only novelty items were allowed for retail sale in the state.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that more than 280 people go to the emergency room because of fireworks-related injuries each day in the days surrounding the Fourth of July holiday, according to the West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office.

"You need (to have) water handy, adult supervision, make sure there are no combustibles around, and that the area they're being set off in is free of debris. Follow all the instructions that come with the fireworks," said Mark Lambert, Fire Service Extension and State Fire Training director.

For some pets, the Fourth of July is a time to hide and cower at the sound of fireworks. Area shelters are reminding pet owners to keep pets inside, keep them busy and distracted with toys, stay close to them, make sure their IDs and microchips are updated, give them a secure and comfortable place to hide and use ambient sounds to mask the noise.

Fireworks can also affect veterans with post traumatic stress disorder. Dr. Randy Warren, chief of mental health at Huntington's Hershel "Woody" Williams VA Medical Center, said veterans with combat experience may experience reactions to fireworks.

"The biggest thing about PTSD is that the reactions are variable," Warren said. "There's no one particular reaction; however, a lot of the combat veterans do have hyper reactivity when it comes to hearing fireworks with loud explosions or seeing the bursts of light. Those things can cause them to flashback to their time in combat. It can happen, it doesn't happen with all combat veterans, but with a number of them it does."

Warren said he recommends veterans contact their neighbors with their concerns.

"What we tell a lot of our veterans who do experience this reaction, and many of them know they're going to experience this reaction, we tell them to let their neighbors know, if they're comfortable going, that fireworks can cause this to happen and ask them to be more considerate about where they let their fireworks off or what time they let them off," he said.

Warren said he also recommends veterans have "tool kits" with photographs, music and other things that bring them joy to have out while fireworks are going off. Curtains and darkened blinds are a way to keep out the lights from fireworks, and ear plugs can muffle the sounds, Warren said.

"(Veterans have to) allow themselves to accept the fact that they're going to have reactions to fireworks, and sometimes just knowing that allowing themselves to experience it decreases the reactivity to it or the effects of that reactivity," Warren said.

The VA is also connected to 24/7 support from the Veterans Crisis Line, which vets may call if their reactions become unbearable. Warren said two free phone apps are available to download that help with PTSD reactions. They are called PTSD Coach and Virtual Hope Box.

Fireworks safety tips

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey urges people to heed the following fireworks safety tips:

n Only use fireworks outdoors in a clear area.

n Read all instructions before igniting fireworks.

n Supervise children at all times and make sure adults ignite every firework, including sparklers, which can cause severe burns if not handled properly.

n Make sure other people are out of range.

n Never relight a malfunctioning firework.

n Soak used/malfunctioning fireworks in water before throwing them away.

n Keep a water hose or bucket of water nearby in case of a fire.

n Never place any body part directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.

n Move to a safe location immediately after lighting fireworks.

n Never point or throw fireworks at another person or occupied area.

n Never ignite fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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