Firefighters urge safety, caution near fireworks

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day, unfortunately, is one of the busiest days of the year for fire fighters.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more fires are reported on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year, and two out of five are fireworks-related incidents.
IAFF Local #2370 advises that the best way to enjoy fireworks and prevent injury is to watch a professional show.
“Consumer fireworks are dangerous and the risks to personal safety and the safety of the community are significant,” says Salisbury Professional Fire Fighters President Chris Haynes.
Fireworks injured 9,600 people in the United States in 2011, according to NFPA. Celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks, cookouts and community events can quickly turn to disaster if proper precautions are not taken.
Children are especially at risk on July 4. In 2011, 26 percent of victims with fireworks injuries were under 15, says NFPA.
Children should never play with fireworks. Even sparklers can reach 1200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fireworks that leave the ground are not legal in Salisbury, according to Haynes.
Legal or not, if you decide to ignore these words of caution and set off your own fireworks display, precautions need to be taken, and taken seriously.
While pretty, fireworks can be very, very dangerous.
Only call 911 for potentially life-threatening situations so firefighters are available to respond quickly when lives are in danger.
For more information about fireworks safety, visit http://www.nfpa.org/fireworks.
To check the legality of fireworks, visit http://www.usfireworks.biz/legal/legal.htm.

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