The Pryor Times


June 24, 2014

Safety with fireworks

PRYOR, OK — Fourth of July fun is all in the fireworks, but experts urge caution.

Food, family, friends, fun and fireworks are all a part of an Independence Day celebration but many end the day in the hospital waiting room.

According to the National Fire Protection Association in 2012, 8,700 people went to the emergency room for firework-related injuries. Of those 57 percent were burns and 18 percent were lacerations. The NFPA reports that in 2011 fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires resulting in 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damages.

“Going to a professional firework show is the safest option,” said Locust Grove Assistant Fire Chief Nathan WIllis. “But if you opt to shoot fireworks yourself, do so with extreme caution.”

Willis says, never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks and adults should monitor children's whereabouts closely while fireworks are being done.

NFPA says sparklers cause 16 percent of fireworks injuries and most burn hot enough to cause third-degree burns. According to NFPA water boils at 212 degrees, cakes back at 350 degrees, wood burns at 575 degrees, glass melts at 900 degrees and sparklers burn at 1200 degrees.

“Never put your hands or face over the fireworks device when lighting the fuse and back up as soon as it's lighted,” said Pryor Assistant Fire Chief BK Young, who said to keep a water hose at the ready any time fireworks are being used. “Never try to make your own fireworks or shoot illegal fireworks. Information on Oklahoma fireworks laws can be accessed through the state fire marshall website.”

Young said fireworks should always be pointed away from homes, brush, leaves and flammable substances.

Fireworks should never be shot off from inside a metal or glass container or carried in a pocket, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Willis says to only purchase fireworks from a reliable source and to heed safety labels.

“It seems like it should be common sense, but alcohol and fireworks don't mix. So if you're going to be drinking, let someone else handle the firework show,” said Willis

“Dud” or spent fireworks should be soaked with water before placed in a trash can.

Young said if anyone is injured by fireworks they should seek immediate medical attention, and any fires should be reported immediately.

The city of Pryor has a non-refundable residential permit fee of $25 per location in city limits. Pryor residential permits allow firework usage from 9 a.m. Until 11:59 p.m July 3 and 4 only.

Young and Willis both suggested checking with city officials to find out the firework rules in your town, or plan to take the family to a community celebration.

Pryor's Freedom Fest and firework celebration is July 3 at Pryor Football field. Salina's Independence Day carnival and firework display is Saturday, July 5 on Lake Hudson.


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