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Article updated: 6/29/2013 10:35 AM

Ill. state fire marshal warns of fireworks danger

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By Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- 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 (met-KYE'-tis) says sparklers and firecrackers can burn at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. That's hot enough to cause third-degree burns.

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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.

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