Chaney urges Fourth of July fireworks safety

Protect lives, homes and pets

JACKSON – July 3, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Commissioner of Insurance and State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney urges Mississippians to use extreme caution if participating in any fireworks activities this Independence Day holiday. A new report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission contained troubling data regarding fireworks use. According to the report, fireworks-related injuries grew over 30% between 2012 and 2013. There were only 2 reports of fireworks-related injuries in Mississippi in 2013.

“You cannot take safety for granted when it comes to fireworks. Be sure to use common sense when handling any type of fireworks, being especially cautious where young children are concerned,” Chaney said.

According to the report half of the nationally reported injuries were 25 or younger and 14% of the injuries were children under 4. Sparklers, often a favorite with children, accounted for nearly a third of the injuries. The flickering wands can reach up to 1200 º Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns.

Chaney added that anyone using or planning to be around any type of fireworks use be also mindful of their pets. More pets are lost on Independence Day than any other day of the year.

For those choosing to use consumer fireworks, the Mississippi State Fire Marshal suggests you follow these safety tips:

• Observe local laws. Those wishing to purchase and use fireworks should first check with their local, county and/or fire protection officials to determine that local laws are being followed. Some municipalities prohibit fireworks from being used within city limits. Additional zoning regulations prohibiting the use of fireworks may apply in non-municipal areas. If you are unsure whether it is legal to use fireworks in your area, first check with local officials.

• Use common sense and always read and follow the directions on each firework.
• Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
• Buy from reliable fireworks sellers. Store them in a cool, dry place.
• Always have an adult present when shooting fireworks.
• Put used fireworks in a bucket of water and have a hose ready.
• Only use fireworks outdoors, away from homes, dry grass, and trees.
• Light only one item at a time and keep a safe distance.
• Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks.
• Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks.
• Never give fireworks to small children.
• Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
• Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
There will be many professional fireworks displays open to the public throughout the state on the Fourth. The National Fire Prevention Association believes attending one of those and leaving fireworks in the hands of professionals is the safest way to celebrate the Fourth of July.

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