SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois' state fire marshal is warning
residents to leave fireworks to the professionals this Independence Day.
In a statement Friday, State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis says sparklers and firecrackers can burn at a temperature
of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. That's hot enough to cause
Fireworks also can cause fires.
Matkaitis says there were 259 fireworks-related incidents in Illinois last year, resulting in nearly $600,000 in losses.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says in 2011 there
were 9,600 injuries caused by fireworks that were treated in hospitals
nationwide. Most of the people injured are between the ages of 5 and 14.
Matkaitis also reminds residents that sky lanterns are now included on Illinois' list of illegal fireworks.