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Please note the title of this article was specifically worded to include "Nearly" as dummies are working as we speak to come up with even more potential safety pitfalls that we should alert you about, but this list will have to suffice.

As you well know, this weekend we'll celebrate the 245th birthday of our beloved United States of America. Along with the barbecue and family gatherings, we'll have amateur fireworks exhibitions in nearly every neighborhood of the country.

Most of these will go off without a hitch. However, if the bearer of those fireworks is: a/a redneck, b/drinking, c/just plain dumb, or d/a drunk, dumb redneck, then the odds of an unplanned trip to the emergency room increase exponentially.

With safety the paramount concern, we've come up with a list of tips that all should commit to memory, in hopes of avoiding any accidental loss of digits or any other body parts.

Sparklers Can Burn You Badly

It's really hard for the somewhat cerebrally challenged to fully grasp the concept that a sparkler can still burn even a good minute after the flame has gone out. Remember, this is just a piece of wire, that seconds ago was ablaze, so handing this off to someone else (burned end to them) after its use, isn't the best idea. Oh, and sticking one in the back pocket of your shorts right after its extinguished will provide you with a quick reminder that you've made a mistake

Fireworks Shows Are Not for Your Labrador Retriever

Most dogs aren't very keen on fireworks to begin with, but especially not a good idea for your Labrador or any type of retriever. Remember, Fido's biggest joy in life is retrieving whatever you throw, and that includes firecrackers. Best practice here is to wrap him tightly in his thunder blanket and keep him indoors while he watches Animal Planet.

If the Package Says Flammable

I'm not sure that most bona fide dummies really understand the full concept of fireworks. There are two components here. Fire and gunpowder (the works part). So, if a package you might purchase has the word "flammable" written on it in any place, it's not just a possibility. It's definitely flammable, so keep it far from any of your display, or risk losing it or anything else near it forever.

Was It Really a Dud?

From the personal observation of yours truly, one of the original fireworks dummies, take this one at face value.  Just because that firework didn't explode the first time you attempted to light it, doesn't necessarily qualify it as a "dud." NEVER ATTEMPT TO RELIGHT A "DUD." This thing might have just had a bad spot in the fuse and the attempt to relight it could prove successful, like immediately successful, on the second try.

Not the Time to be Drinking

Emergency rooms across America will be filled this weekend with people who were sure they weren't drunk enough to be dangerous with fireworks. Uh, that'd be wrong. These things are dangerous when sober, so just imagine the complications when you mix in a six pack. Unless you've always dreamed of having the nickname "Lefty" or "Two Fingers."

Of course there are a lot of other tips you'll want to consider before popping those fireworks and to see a great list, just go to the National Safety Council website.

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