Tips on firework safety for this July 4th

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 12:17 PM CDT
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SOUTHPORT, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - July Fourth is a huge celebration filled with fun and yes, fireworks.

But those fireworks can be dangerous.

“Improperly disposed of fireworks that were still hot and containing embers, that can be an issue,” Ray Hottinger, the Battalion Chief for Bay County Emergency Services, said.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 19,000 fires are started by fireworks annually.

If you choose to shoot fireworks at home, experts ask you to dispose of them properly.

“Just have a five-gallon bucket of water and just immerse them in that,” Battalion Chief Hottinger said. “Then you can get rid of them at will after that. Once they’ve cooled sufficiently, everything should be fine.”

In 2019, some beachgoers shot off their own fireworks, but it quickly went wrong.

“One of the instigators of this was a rotating candle, roman candle type, that just fired off one into the munitions and set the whole pile off,” Battalion Chief Hottinger said.

Causing fires is just one of the dangers.

“Have on eye protection,” Battalion Chief Hottinger said. “Have on at least a full long sleeve shirt. You can get ashes and embers on you quite quickly from something launching, they’re all powder fed, powder will fly and get everywhere.”

If a firework does not go off. Don’t go near it.

“It may be lit, and you not know it, not see it,” Battalion Chief Hottinger said. “The fuse is extending into the actual firework and you may not see that it’s still lit. When you approach something, it will hit you and hurt you.”

Make sure to keep kids away.

“Don’t let young children shoot off the fireworks, they may not be able to realize after it’s gone what part of the item might still remain hot,” Battalion Chief Hottinger said. “They can suffer burns needlessly.”

While you enjoy the Fourth of July festivities, make sure to stay safe.

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