Although the first holiday of the summer has come and gone the excitement and anticipation of all the wonderful festivities yet to happen remains; part of that excitement is fireworks. Annually, healthcare practitioners and public safety officials warn consumers about the dangers of fireworks that can result in injury, death and destruction of property; they emphasize the best and safe way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a professional fireworks show; yet, each year, thousands of fireworks-related injuries occur.
Should you choose to purchase fireworks, Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee recommends purchasing from a fireworks stand that has been inspected and approved by the Fire Marshal's Office. All stands in Prince William County are properly permitted to sell fireworks displayed.
June is National Fireworks Safety Month, beginning June 1st through July 4th. In an effort to assist residents in preparation for the Fourth of July and additional festivities held throughout the summer, the Fire Marshal's Office suggests the following safety tips:
- Fireworks should only be used under adult supervision.
- Fireworks should only be used outdoors on a driveway, sidewalk or other
fire-resistant surface. Remember, fires are caused by careless handling of fireworks in areas exposed to sparks or live fireworks.
- NEVER ignite fireworks during high winds where flying sparks can start a fire.
- Keep a bucket of water handy in case sparks start a fire.
- Be sure children around fireworks know to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches on fire.
- Deposit sparklers in a metal container as they may be stepped on while hot or lost in the grass and stepped on while playing.
- NEVER aim or throw fireworks at another person.
- NEVER try to re-ignite fireworks that malfunction or fail to go off.
- DO NOT wear loose clothing when using fireworks.
- NEVER experiment or make your own fireworks.
- NEVER carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Pets may be frightened by the noise and lights of fireworks; keep pets inside or away from the area when in use.
These are just a few tips to keep you, your loved ones and your property safe when fireworks are in use. Although the county permits the use of some fireworks, restrictions are applied for good reason. To view the approved fireworks list visit http://www.pwcgov.org/government/dept/FR/fmo/Pages/Permissible-Fireworks.aspx.
No matter how breathtaking fireworks are or how easy they appear to use, they are potential fire starters. The safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries and property damage is to leave fireworks displays to trained professionals. Check your local listings, web sites and social media outlets for venues providing professional fireworks displays.
For more information on fireworks safety visit the National Fire Protection Association https://www.nfpa.org/standard_items/search_results?searchStr=fireworks%20safety%20tips&keyword=b0b04133-cea6-4e84-863e-4d45ec63b706 and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)