Firework safety urged by NOPD and EMS

For some, July 4 will end with a trip to the emergency room. That's why the New Orleans Fire Department is reminding people to be smart around fireworks.

Jason Ament knows a big bang can come with big risks if you're not careful.

"We're going to be safe about it," said Ament. "There's no reason to go crazy, set fire to things and lose hands."

Safety is what New Orleans Fire and Emergency Medical Services want to stress this weekend.

"The number of hospital visits and fires that happen every year are astronomical," said Superintendent Tim McConnell with the New Orleans Fire Department.

"Here in New Orleans, we see a lot of eye, hand, even loss of limbs sometimes," agreed Ken Bouvier, Deputy Chief of New Orleans EMS.

Officials say across the country, 6,800 people ended up in emergency rooms last July 4. Thousands of fires were also started by fireworks. While fireworks are illegal in Orleans Parish, they are allowed in a few places such as St. Bernard, St. John, and parts of Jefferson and Lafourche Parish.

If you plan to use them, officials say use common sense.

  • keep them away from young children,
  • don't set them off near buildings or trees,
  • and keep alcohol out of the mix.

C's Fireworks in Gretna tells their customers all of these things.

"We recommend that adults set off the fireworks," said Phillip Daldegan who works there. "We recommend that you don't stand over the fireworks when you light them and that the audience should be at least 75 feet away when you light them."

Authorities say they will be out patrolling. If caught breaking the law, citations run up to $500 or even jail time. ​

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