Authorities Stress Fireworks Safety On Fourth of July

Superior Fire Inspector Offers Tips To Avoid Injury


People are gearing up to celebrate our nation’s independence with a bang tomorrow. Fireworks accounted for around 11,100 injuries treated during emergency room visits last year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The Superior Fire Department has some recommendations and safety tips for a safe July Fourth.

Fireworks often mark the anniversary on which the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. Arthur Gil de Lamadrid is the lead fire inspector with the Superior Fire Department. If people are setting off fireworks, he said they should take steps to make the holiday as safe as possible.

“Light one device at a time, and then quickly move away. Use fireworks outdoors only in a clear area from buildings and vehicles,” he said. “Never relight a dud. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water. Always have a bucket of water and a charged water hose ready. Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into a metal or glass container. Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.”

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Gil de Lamadrid said spent fireworks should be wet down and placed in a metal trash container. He added explosives like M-80’s or quarter sticks are illegal and should be reported to the authorities. He advised everyone to avoid drinking alcohol if they’re going to be setting off explosives.

“People often will consume in the evening and then begin using fireworks,” he said. “If you shouldn’t drive your car with alcohol on board, you probably shouldn’t be using fireworks with alcohol.”

Gil de Lamadrid also said fireworks should be kept at least 20 to 50 feet away from any road or dwelling to avoid damage to your house or distraction to drivers.

He also said children should not be using fireworks. Kids under the age of 15 made up 31 percent of all fireworks-related injuries last year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. More than half of all injuries involved burns to the hands and face.

Many towns, including Superior, have their own events throughout the day. Superior will host a carnival and firework show on Barkers Island. Events kick off at 1 p.m.

People can find more safety information online at www.cpsc.gov.

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