Officials encourage ringing in the new year safely - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Officials encourage ringing in the new year safely

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Fireworks stand in Gretna (Photo by Jessica Holly) Fireworks stand in Gretna (Photo by Jessica Holly)
Fireworks in New Orleans on July 4th (Photo by Jessica Holly) Fireworks in New Orleans on July 4th (Photo by Jessica Holly)

Gretna, La - Light 'em yourself fireworks are illegal in much of the Metro Area, but that's not the case in Gretna. Casey Christiana runs Mr. C's Fireworks and says she has 25 years of experience in the business. "The number one thing, never leave children unattended and educate them," said Christiana. "Educate them not to hold things in their hand unless it's a sparkler or a parent is around. Do not put your face over a lit item."

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, hands and fingers are most at risk followed by the eyes and face. While kids are top of mind when it comes to fireworks safety, they are apparently not the most at risk. The CPSC reports in 2011 40-percent of those injured while handling or being near fireworks were between the ages of 24 and 44. Another 14-percent were between the ages of 45 and 64.

Fireworks safety is certainly not the only concern this time of year. Many will be taking in lots of holiday cheer as they ring in the new year. What they do after the party, is a big concern for state police.

"We don't want to do death notices," said Melissa Matey with the Louisiana State Police. "This is not the time of year you want us knocking on your door at 2:00 in the morning."

Matey says Louisiana State Troopers are setting up numerous "no refusal" sobriety checkpoints. That means troopers can obtain a search warrant and make you take a blood test if you refuse a breathalyser. "And then we will find out what's in their system whether it's alcohol and or drugs," said Matey.

If you are out New Year's Eve and you are concerned about a driver who may be impaired, call *LSP. That call will connect you to the state police troop closest to you.

Alcohol and drugs are also a concern when it comes to adults and fireworks. "If you're going to drink, sit back and drink and let somebody else light them and have fun," said a Mr. C's patron.

"Use common sense and make it fun and enjoyable," added Christiana.

Officials with the NOPD tell Fox 8 they are planning to hold a news conference New Year's Eve to remind citizens of New Orleans that fireworks are illegal in the city.

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