CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The annual 4th of July holiday always brings a reminder from the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s office to be careful as you celebrate the holiday with explosions.
“Safety first on the Fourth,” said Courtney Rosemond, Public Information Officer for the State Fire Marshal’s office. “Common sense is certainly something we need to think about. Fireworks can be dangerous and we want people to enjoy them, but do so in a safe manner. Use your brain.”
Fireworks now sold in West Virginia cover a wide range from aerial rockets to ground explosions. Regardless of the type of fireworks or the intensity Rosemond added they are always dangerous, to yourself and to property.
“Make sure you know the fireworks and how they perform,” she explained. “When you’re done, something nobody considers is to soak them in a bucket of water for about 20 minutes before you throw them away.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety is out with a list of recommended safety practices for a home fireworks show:
–Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
–Know your fireworks. Read the warning labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
–Have a designated shooter organize and shoot your family show.
–Parents and caretakers must closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.
–Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
–Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
–Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks.
–Obey local laws.
–Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
–Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
–Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.
–Never attempt to alter or modify consumer fireworks and use them only in the manner in which they were intended.
–Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
–Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
Those looking to shoot off fireworks in West Virginia should also consult local ordinances in their municipality or county.
“Make sure you check with those before, since they can set their own restrictions,” said Rosemond. “Such as time of day the fireworks can be set off, be sure you’re checking those before you start lighting them off.”