Fire Marshal Bob here. I want to take just a minute to inform you of a new law that effects they ways we can celebrate our Nation and heritage with fireworks. The legislature has not only increased the types of fireworks we can use but they have allowed us to shoot them from June 26th through July 26th.
First let me remind you that legal fireworks are still very dangerous and the effects of fireworks can cost all of us un-necessary dollars. Did you know that from 2002 and 2006 nearly half a million was the dollar amount in property loss due to fireworks. That doesn't begin to account for the monies from our tax dollars that were spent to combat these fires, or the money spent on medical bills from burns, amputations and other mutilations caused by fireworks. OK enough of the gruesome stuff.
Here are some good tips to remember as we get ready for our celebrations.
- Purchase fireworks from reliable, licensed fireworks dealers. Read all instructions to reduce the chances of a destructive fire or debilitating injury. Follow all safety guidelines exactly.
- Children should not handle fireworks. You must be at least 16 years of age to handle or light fireworks. Adults are to supervise any activity that includes fireworks.
- Never let children handle, play with or light fireworks. Only knowing and clear-headed adults should handle fireworks.
- Adults should never use alcohol or drugs or be impaired while engaged in handling, using, placing or lighting fireworks.
- New aerial type fireworks are now lawful. Aerial devices, also known as "multiple tube", "repeater", or "cake" fireworks often look like miniature professional displays and can travel high into the air, as much as 150 feet.
- These Fireworks need sufficient space from trees, carports, structures, powerlines, or other high or low obstacles. Aerial or "cake" fireworks need at least a 30 foot clearance around on the ground and at least 150 foot clearance in the air.
- Things that are still not allowed are fire crackers, M-80's, cherry bombs, bottle rockets, roman candles, single or reloadable mortars, and ground salutes. Remember that all State and Federal laws must be adhered to! Please use commonsense whenever you are around fireworks. Here are a few of Fire Marshal Bobs don'ts! Don't change or alter the fireworks in any way! Don't light them near or under a carport! Don't light them indoors! Don't carry fireworks in your pockets! Don't Shoot fireworks in windy conditions!
- Keep a bucket of water or running hose nearby during the time of lighting and disposing of fireworks and in case of an emergency.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks. Keep all unused fireworks 30 feet away from the shooting area.
- Make sure other people are out of range at a reasonable distance before lighting fireworks. Do not point or throw fireworks at people, animals or where they may not be under proper control. And remember, sparklers burn at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. They are extremely deceptive in nature and can be an extraordinarily dangerous device in the hands of children and can cause serious burns and injuries if not cared for properly.
- Light fireworks one at a time. Do not attempt to light multiple fireworks at any time. Do not relight a firework whose fuse has burned away. Do not attempt to repair broken fireworks. Soak fireworks that did not ignite in a bucket of water. Once the firework is lit, get away quickly to a safe distance.
- Keep clear of the firework. Never place a body part above or around a burning firework. Never pickup a burning firework. Never look into the tube or stay close to the burning end of the device. Never hold a lit firework in your hand.
- Use caution with animals. Excitement, noise and lights can cause fear and stress.
As always...Be Smart... Be Safe... BE READY!