Welcoming 2017 with a bang: Officials stress fireworks safety

Published 4:12 am Saturday, December 31, 2016

It’s time again for explosions.

As New Year’s Eve approaches, fireworks are doing a brisk business. However, Sheriff Randy Seal is asking residents to remember to be cautious around the combustibles. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks cause thousands of fires and injuries annually. Even sparklers, those hand-held sparkling sticks, accounted for over a quarter of the emergency room injuries in 2014, the NFPA reports.

Sheriff Seal said it is easy to enjoy fireworks safely.

“Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting. A responsible adult should supervise all fireworks activities. Never give fireworks to children,” Seal said in a press release.

He added that the adults who supervise should also be sober.

“Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks, light one firework at a time and then quickly move away,” he said. “Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from building and vehicles.”

The sheriff suggests families keep a bucket of water nearby. If they get a dud firework, it should be tossed into the bucket after a 20-minute wait and not re-lit.

“Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers,” he said. “Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.”

And finally, after the fun is over, Seal suggests dousing the spent fireworks before tossing them in the trash in order to prevent a fire.