Remember ‘safety first’ when lighting fireworks

It's officially firework season and authorities want you to be safe while you're out enjoying your favorite firecracker.
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 5:54 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2022 at 2:59 AM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - It’s officially firework season and authorities want you to be safe while you’re out enjoying your favorite firecracker.

Cape Girardeau Fire Captain Jason Poole who says it’s important to practice safe guidelines to keep someone from getting hurt.

“First thing is make sure you have appropriate equipment by having something to extinguish a small fire if you do have one,” Poole said. “Make sure you have the appropriate equipment to light the firework. Also, make sure you’re in an open area, not under any trees, powerlines, too close to a building, anything of that nature.”

He advised people to keep a safe distance when lighting and setting off fireworks and to also be equipped with a bucket of water to extinguish any duds or recently used fireworks.

Poole said it’s all about being safe and enjoying the holiday.

“It’s of the utmost importance,” Poole said. “Everybody thinks fireworks are just simple child toys, they’re actually not. They’re very dangerous. They can cause serious damage. You can lose fingers, you can have serious injuries to your body.”

Poole said not only can you get hurt but you can also start a fire.

“This is one of our busier times of the year,” Poole said. “We do see an increase in medical calls, we do see an increase in fire calls, whether it be a house fire due to improper use or fireworks causing a small grass fire in the backyard. We do see a little bit of an uptick. We do call this a fairly busy fire season for us.”

Make sure you do not handle any lit fireworks that could cause harm to yourself or to others.

“You always want to use them as they are intended to be used,” Poole said. “Make sure you’re not holding them in your hand, throwing them at anybody, shooting them from inappropriate positions. Because that does nothing but put others at harm and possibly put yourself at harm.”

Some other tips to follow include:

  • Purchase fireworks only from a properly licensed retailer
  • Always wear eye protection and earplugs if you have sensitive ears
  • Tie back long hair and don’t wear loose fitting clothes
  • Only light one firework at a time
  • Never try to re-light fireworks that have malfunctioned
  • Never have any part of your body over fireworks. Keep young children away from fireworks
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket
  • Make sure to have water nearby in case of a fire or an accident
  • Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water and leaving them in a trash can
  • Never light fireworks indoors
  • Don’t use fireworks while consuming alcohol
  • Use a “designated shooter”
  • Don’t save fireworks from season to season

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