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Fire Department Warns Revelers About Potential Hazards of Virus Protection and Fireworks

We cannot be too careful this weekend, for several reasons.

It’s Independence Day weekend here in the United States, but it doesn’t necessarily feel too free, if you know what we mean.

That’s because our nation is still in the midst of a viral pandemic, with cases of COVID-19 rising sharply in recent weeks all around the country.  We are certainly not out of the woods yet, but Americans sure are ready to get back to whatever “normal” is going to look like.

Inevitably, that means that there will be gatherings, cookouts, and excursions this weekend, hopefully while staying as safe as possible.  Masks, social distancing, and hand sanitizer will be the must-have accessories at every backyard brouhaha, but one fire department is warning that the addition of at least one of these safety precautions will make fireworks all the more dangerous.

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It’s hard to imagine celebrating the Fourth of July without fireworks. But if you’ve become a routine hand sanitizer user amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, take heed: do not use it before handling fireworks, as the two pose a dangerous – and very flammable – combination.

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“Keep in mind, if you are using consumer fireworks this year, DO NOT USE HAND SANITIZER AT THE SAME TIME! Wash your hands only with soap and water. Hand Sanitizer is flammable!” warned the City of Greensboro Fire Department in a recent Facebook post.

Indeed, as many are aware, alcohol and fire are a dangerous duo. Dee Shelton, fire and life safety educator with the City of Greensboro Fire Department, told The News & Observer that those celebrating Independence Day should avoid using hand sanitizer not just prior to handling fireworks, but also while near any open flame, such as a grill or a campfire.

As the summer rolled around, several instances of hadn’t sanitizer bottles bursting into flames were reported in hot cars around the country as well, underscoring the dangers of the all-too-necessary precaution.

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