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LAYTON — July is a difficult month for Layton resident Jana Tuttle. It marks the anniversary of the fireworks accident that nearly blinded her in one eye.
Last Pioneer Day, her family and friends gathered on the sidewalk near her home and celebrated with fireworks.
"They just lit one and it fell over, exploded, and a piece of the firework went into my eye," Tuttle said.
She was rushed to the hospital where doctors determined part of the cornea in her left eye was burned off.
"It was so incredibly painful," Tuttle said. "I don't want anyone else to have to go through the pain that I went through."
So she is using her experience to warn others about the dangers of fireworks, a shared sentiment from fire officials.
"If you use them inappropriately or don't follow safety tips, they can create memories for the wrong reasons," said Jasen Asay, spokesman for the Salt Lake City Fire Department.
Fire officials said people should always stand back 20 to 30 feet. If you're lighting off aerials, secure them.
"Make sure that they have bricks that are stabilizing the fireworks," Asay said. "That way the fireworks won't accidentally tip over or get tipped over by the wind and shoot the projectiles into places where they are not supposed to be going."
Tuttle said she wishes she would have used something to secure the aerial firework that day but knows her story will prevent others from being hurt.
"It's fun but we just don't realize that they are not a toy, that they really are a dangerous object," Tuttle said.
- Read instructions before igniting
- Responsible adult should supervise
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks
- Light one at a time then quickly move away
- Use in a clear area, away from buildings and vehicles
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water
- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials