Taking precautions key to fireworks fun
Posted: Thursday, July 1, 2010 5:52 am
By: Emily Williams, Messenger Intern
By EMILY WILLIAMS
With Independence Day just around the corner, it is important to remember that one of the holiday’s most popular activities, shooting fireworks, is also one of the most dangerous.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks consistently cause more damage to property than all other outdoor fire causes combined on the Fourth of July in the United States. (See related photo, Page 2.)
The Tennessee Depart-ment of Health offers some safety tips for those who choose to deal with fireworks at home.
• Use fireworks in a safe area away from dry fields, forests and buildings.
• Keep water and garden tools nearby. Wet towels can be used to extinguish small flames.
• Carefully follow label directions and always have adult supervision.
• Wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.
• Never use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives.
• Only use fireworks as intended. Don’t try to alter them or combine them.
• Light one firework at a time.
• Never try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks — douse and soak them with water, then properly dispose of them.
• Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter.
• Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a “designated shooter.”
Most importantly, use common sense and be responsible with fireworks and follow state and local ordinances.
In Tennessee, individuals must be 16 years or older and provide a state-issued photo ID at the time of purchase.
In addition, firework use is prohibited within the city limits.
Editor’s Note: Emily Williams, the daughter of Roger and Juli Williams of Woodland Mills, is a senior at Rhodes College in Memphis. She is interning at The Messenger this summer.
Published in The Messenger 6.30.10