Its that time again to get out, buy some fireworks and have some fun with family and friends. One thing that is easy to overlook while enjoying this time of the year is firework safety.
According to State Fire Marshall there were 158 injuries last year due to fireworks. 11 percent of these injuries occurred on the 3rd of July, 63 percent occurred on the 4th of July, 10 percent occurred on the 5th of July and the remaining injuries happened between June 19 and July 14.
The type of fireworks that caused the most injuries were the rocket type, firecracker, and novelty type. The most common type of injuries were burns, and cuts, these makes up for over 90 percent of the injuries. People over the age of 18 had the most injuries followed by children of ages 11 and 12.
Another concern with fireworks is fires, and people must take steps to help prevent fires this time of the year.
According to Mike Napolitano, Fire Chief of Great Bend, people should keep a five gallon bucket of water with them, and after launching their fireworks wait for them to cool and place the spent fireworks in the bucket of water and let them soak before throwing the spent fireworks away.
No matter what time you are lighting fire works off it’s very important to keep track of what you lit and where it lands, it’s also is important to light one off at a time.
“Most important thing is to keep track of what you lit and after its been shot,” Co-owner of Big Tent Fire Works in Great Bend, Damian Tudor said.
Launching fireworks at night is when people have to pay more attention to safety. Its hard to see where the spent fireworks will land.
“Night fireworks is when you have to pay special attention, you need to watch where the embers land and where the fireworks land,” Napolitano said, “It good idea to keep a garden hose around the place where you are setting off your fireworks.”
Big Tent Fireworks The Great Bend Fire Department and the State Fire Marshall want you to have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July, here are some fireworks safety tips that they have provided.
•Always read and follow directions,
•Always purchase high quality fireworks from a reliable, legitimate source.
•Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a designated shooter.
•Never give fireworks to small children.
•Adults should always supervise use of fireworks by older children.
•Always wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
•Never light fireworks indoors. Make sure your outdoor area is safe for firework use.
•Never point or throw fireworks at a person, building, or animals.
•Have a source of water handy, in case of fire.
•Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
•Light only one firework at a time.
•Never attempt to re-light malfunctioning fireworks.
•When lighting fireworks, never place any of your body over them.
•Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
•Store fireworks in cool dry place.
•Never experiment with homemade fireworks. They are dangerous and illegal.
•Bottle rockets and other skyrockets that are mounted on a stick or wire are illegal.
•It is illegal to shoot fireworks on or under a vehicle, on any public roadway, within 50 feet of a firework stand or where fireworks are stored, and gas stations or any place liquid gas including propane is stored.
Firework safety is very important this time of the year, but there is one more thing people need to be aware of and that is our combat veterans in Barton County and Great Bend. If these veterans are suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, fireworks can be very troublesome for them. The load noises, pops and bangs will cause issues for our combat veterans so please be courteous when shooting off fireworks around neighbor hoods and other areas where veterans might be.