Bring the new year in safely
by Rory Doyle
Dec 28, 2012 | 2049 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Brooke Scallion (right) purchases New Year's fireworks from Terence Lott on Thursday. Citizens are reminded that Cleveland has an ordinance against using fireworks within city limits.
Brooke Scallion (right) purchases New Year's fireworks from Terence Lott on Thursday. Citizens are reminded that Cleveland has an ordinance against using fireworks within city limits.
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After some difficult events highlighting recent news, the dawning of 2013 will surely give the nation something to celebrate.

And of course, New Year's Eve and fireworks go hand-in-hand.

Although fireworks can be a beautiful and entertaining way to celebrate the new calendar, citizens should stay updated on firework safety and local laws.

“Remember, Cleveland has an ordinance against using fireworks within city limits," said Cleveland Fire Inspector Gene Bishop. "We strongly discourage using fireworks in the city and violators will be ticketed.

"People need to understand you can be seriously hurt by fireworks."

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers some safety tips to consider when lighting fireworks:

• Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

• Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because that is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.

• Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.

• Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

• Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited completely.

• Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap. • Light fireworks one at a time then move back quickly.

• Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off metal or glass containers.

• After fireworks have finished burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

• Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

"We usually don’t have that many problems in the county,” said Bolivar County Volunteer Fire Chief Lee Tedder.

"Firework safety is about using common sense," Tedder added. "There's always the threat of grass fires from fireworks, especially when it's been real dry. Probably that won't be the case this year, but there's still the potential."