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SMMC Offers Important Safety Tips for Handling Fireworks


Encourages the public to leave lighting fireworks to the professionals

This Independence Day, many Maine communities are permitting the use of fireworks for the first time in more than 60 years since the Maine Legislature lifted its statewide ban on selling and using consumer fireworks. Fireworks are an integral part of most Fourth of July celebrations but, if not handled properly, they can cause serious burns and eye injuries in children and adults.

Southern Maine Medical Center (SMMC) along with the National Council on Fireworks Safety recommends that the best way to protect your family is not to use any fireworks at home – period. It is safest to leave the lighting to professionals and enjoy public fireworks displays.

If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them. However, if the use of consumer fireworks is permitted in your community, here are some important safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Children should never play with fireworks. Even sparklers, which can reach 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, can cause serious injury.
  • Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water or hose nearby in case of accidents.
  • Follow the instructions for use on the package, do not alter or combine fireworks.
  • Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting.
  • Point fireworks away from people, homes and flammable materials.
  • Never light fireworks in a glass or metal container and never relight a dud.

For more information about the safe handling of fireworks, visit SMHC’s website at

“The medical staff at SMHC is encouraging folks to leave lighting fireworks to the professionals this Fourth of July holiday,” said Dr. Gina Quinn-Skillings, medical director of SMHC’s Emergency Department. “If you or a family member is injured by fireworks, immediately seek medical attention by calling 911 or visiting your local emergency department.”

SMMC’s Emergency Department, located in the Dorothy Walker Bush Pavilion at One Medical Center Drive in Biddeford, is always open. Non-emergency care is also available 7 days a week from noon to 8 pm at SMHC’s Walk-In Care center located at the corner of Route 1 and Ross Road in Saco.

About Southern Maine Medical Center
Southern Maine Medical Center (SMMC) is a national award-winning healthcare system including a medical center offering excellent clinical care and a multi-specialty physician services group. SMHC features one of Maine's leading Emergency Care centers as well as a full range of inpatient and outpatient services at its 150-bed acute care medical center. Non-emergency care is available without an appointment seven days a week at SMHC’s Walk-In Care center in Saco. SMHC's physician services offer high quality medical care through offices located in Biddeford, Kennebunk, Old Orchard Beach, and Saco and a wide array of outpatient services at its diagnostic and therapy centers in Saco, Kennebunk, and Biddeford. SMHC is Joint Commission accredited, state-licensed, and is a member of the MaineHealth system. To learn more visit


Media Contact:
Leslie Roberts
(207) 283.7232

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