Playing safe with fireworks a must
by Bailey Richards
While fireworks are as much a Fourth of July staple as cook outs and a day off from work, they can also be dangerous. Every year thousands of families set off home firework displays, and sadly some of those will also suffer severe injuries or property damage.
Hazard Fire Chief Sam Stacy said his department has responded to incidents of people misusing fireworks and harming themselves and others, and not practicing the proper safety measures just one time can result in severe injuries.
“Never light them in your hands, because lots of people lose fingers and teeth and sides of faces,” said Stacy.
The dry weather is creating an added risk for amateur pyro-technicians this year. Stacy said that shooting fireworks in dry wooded area could cause a fire.
“We always suggest they do it out in a field somewhere where there were no structures around to catch the structures on fire, but the grass is so dry that anything will catch it on fire,” said Stacy.
Currently several counties in Eastern Kentucky have set in place burn bans for the next week, however, none of those currently include fireworks. Perry County instituted a burn ban on Thursday afternoon.
Chief Stacy added that fireworks falling on homes while still hot can be incredibly dangerous, and can cause massive damage and even a total loss of the home due to fire. Because of these risks, Stacy suggests never letting children light and shoot off fireworks themselves.
Even very cautious parents often let their children play with sparklers, but that can also be dangerous.
“One of the problems that we saw in the past was with the sparklers ,” said Stacy. “Those things get so hot, it is just like welding pretty much. They throw off those sparks and they will burn you.”
Many times kids will grab the lit end and burn their hand. Keeping a bucket of water around to put the used sparkler sticks in can quickly cool them and be an easy way to dispose of them safely.
While fireworks can be dangerous to anyone using them improperly, they most often hurt children. It is important to follow all of the manufactures warnings, Stacy added, and keep water nearby in case of fire, and supervise any children while they are around fireworks.
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