ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WVUE) - The S. Tammany Fire District #1 said while fireworks are spectacular to watch, they can be extremely dangerous in the hands of amateurs. The Fire Prevention Chief urged families to attend public fireworks displays put on by professionals, instead of lighting them at home.
The National Fire Protection Association supports local fire department efforts to limit and educate the general public use and handling of fireworks due to the predictable nature of the materials.
"Playing with fireworks invites disaster. It's just not worth the risk. As parents and adults, we have a responsibility to protect our children. While most parents work year round to keep their children safe, if they shoot fireworks off in their yards once a year, they are placing their children at substantial risk," said Fire Prevention Chief Marquette.
Statistics from the NFPA show that more than a quarter of fires started by fireworks in 2009-2013 were reported on Independence Day. Almost half of the reported fires on the Fourth of July were started by fireworks.
If you choose to use fireworks, the NFPA said make sure to follow local laws and practice extreme caution. The NFPA released the following tips:
- Only adults should handle fireworks. Children should leave the area immediately if their friends are using fireworks.
- Discuss safety procedures with your children. Teach children to “stop, drop, and roll” if their clothes catch fire and make sure they know how to call 911.
- Read labels carefully and follow directions. By law, all fireworks must carry a warning label describing necessary safety precautions.
- Never use fireworks indoors.
- Be sure spectators are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Never aim or throw fireworks at another person.
- Never place your face or any other body part over fireworks.
- Leave pieces of fireworks on the ground after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Only light fireworks on smooth, flat surfaces away from houses, dry leaves and flammable materials.
- Sparklers are not toys. They can reach 2,000° Fahrenheit--hot enough to melt some metals.