Take precautions with fireworks

Take precautions with fireworks

Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2008 7:00 pm
By: AP

FLORENCE, Ala. — Backyard cookouts and family reunions across the state signify that summer is well on its way. In Tennessee, fireworks will again help brighten family traditions and fond memories — especially if Tennesseans remember to put safety first, according to leading experts. While Americans’ usage of fireworks increased more than 960 percent nationwide between 1976 and 2006, fireworks-related injuries decreased more than 91 percent, according to the most recent data available from the American Pyrotechnics Association. Safety experts attribute the drop in fireworks-related injuries to intense product-safety testing and ongoing, aggressive consumer education. Tennessee state law defines approved fireworks as: • Roman candles, skyrockets, helicopters and missiles of not more than 20 grams of pyrotechnic composition per device; • Firecrackers of not more than 50 milligrams of pyrotechnic composition; • Mine and shell devices of not more than 60 grams per tube (including reloadable shells); • Multiple tube fireworks of not more than 200 grams per tube or 500 grams if tubes are attached to a base and are separated from each other by at least a 1/2 inch and; • Aerial “report” effects limited to a maximum of 130 milligrams per report. “Celebrating with fireworks is an enduring tradition that perfectly complements American holidays,” said Tommy Glasgow, president of TNT® Fireworks (TNT), the largest distributor of consumer fireworks in the United States. “By taking a few simple precautionary steps, Tennesseans can honor this tradition safely and create a summer’s worth of special memories. Fireworks are an excellent source of family entertainment when used appropriately.” Fireworks Safety 101 By playing it safe with fireworks, Tennesseans can prevent injuries, as well keep Tennessee beautiful. A few tips to remember include: • Children should not light or handle fireworks. • Strictly follow all safety warnings and instructions that appear on packaging when using any fireworks products. • Always keep a hose and a bucket of water nearby in case of emergencies. • Use fireworks outdoors, only in clear areas, away from houses, buildings and dry grass. Keep all fireworks away from any flammable liquids, dry grassy areas and open fires. • Do not relight fireworks — if a firework fails to light, do not relight it. Douse it with water and do not put it inside a car, building or structure until the firework is soaked and time has passed to ensure it will not reignite. • Animals are often frightened by the sounds of fireworks. To protect your “best friends,” keep them indoors — away from the loud noise — and secure. • As with any purchase, check the credibility of the distributor to make sure their fireworks are reliable and legal and that they come from a licensed source. • Remember — not all fireworks are the same. Be sure to purchase products that are manufactured by a trusted, established company that puts consumer safety first. • Do not smoke when handling any type of firework. • Do not use fireworks while under the influence of alcohol. Safety experts attribute the drop in fireworks-related injuries to intense product-safety testing, quality products and ongoing, aggressive consumer education. “To the delight of families across the United States, the proliferation of available safety information has encouraged the proper use of fireworks devices,” said John Conkling, a nationally renowned fireworks expert and spokesman for the American Pyrotechnics Association. “By participating in federal safety regulations and consumer awareness programs, responsible fireworks manufacturers, such as TNT, help ensure fireworks are enjoyed properly and safely.” Published in The Messenger 7.3.08

Leave a Comment