Have safe firework fun this New Year's
by Courtney Warren
Dec 30, 2013 | 1932 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The countdown for the New Year is rapidly approaching and although fireworks may seem like a good idea, there are certain safety precautions that must be taken to prevent injuries.

Fireworks can be a fun activity for the entire family if they are handled correctly but improper use or handling of fireworks can also be very dangerous.

In a previous interview, Cleveland Fire Inspector Gene Bishop said, "Remember, Cleveland has an ordinance against using fireworks within city limits."

"We strongly discourage using fireworks in the city and violators will be ticketed. They can be very dangerous. People need to understand you can be seriously hurt by fireworks," he added.

According to Mound Bayou Fire Chief Edgar Glover fireworks should be used by or in the presence of adults.

"Children should never be left unattended while using fireworks because if they are not handled in the correct way, then they can be very dangerous," Glover said.

"Make sure that you do not light or land fireworks in very dry places. Please be mindful that while shooting fireworks, you should make sure that you are in a large open space and do not handle them with your hands," he added.

He also advises individuals to not wear loose clothing while lighting a firework and to sit the firework on the ground, light it and rapidly move away from it once the fuse has been ignited.

"If you light a firework and it does not go off, do not stand over and observe it. Fireworks alone are not dangerous but when people refuse to handle them properly, they pose as a hazard and can sometimes lead to fatal situations," added Glover.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers common sense safety tips for using consumer fireworks in hopes that injuries to consumers can be greatly reduced this season.

Always purchase fireworks from a reliable source.

Use fireworks as directed on consumer product safety label and never alter products.

Observe local laws and use good common sense and have a designated shooter to organize and shoot your family show.

A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities and parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.

Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.

Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area and away from buildings and vehicles.

Never carry fireworks in your pocket and wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.

Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks.

Do not experiment with homemade firework and never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water and soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor trash can and report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.