Friday, July 1, 2011

4th of July Fireworks Message from the Colorado Division of Fire Safety

What's the busiest day of the year for firefighters?Answer: Throughout the nation, it's nearly always the 4th of July.

Of all fires reported, fireworks account for over half of those fires, said Kevin Klein, Director of the Division of Fire Safety.

"While fireworks are exciting to see, they are potentially dangerous and when misused can lead to serious injuries and devastating fires," he noted. "Combining fireworks with the current fire danger in portions of Colorado is a recipe for disaster. This 4th of July, the Colorado Division of Fire Safety encourages you to 'Celebrate Safely'".

Celebrate safely by attending a public firework display sponsored by your local community, instead of creating your own display. These professional displays are inspected and permitted by public safety officials to ensure that the pyrotechnicians are setting up and firing the display in accordance with local, state, and national standards for safety.

If you intend on celebrating with permissible fireworks -- those legal consumer firework devices sold in Colorado licensed retail outlets -- first check with your local fire department to ensure that the possession and use of fireworks is permitted in your community. Many Colorado municipalities prohibit the private use fireworks within their boundaries.

Given the recent increase in fire danger in many parts of Colorado, many communities have also instituted burn bans that prohibit the use of fireworks. (See for information on burn bans.)

Klein said, "Celebrating safely involves the three B's: Be Prepared, before lighting fireworks; Be Safe, when lighting fireworks; and Be Responsible when finished."

"Be Prepared" before lighting fireworks:

* First determine if fireworks are legal to use in your community and there are no restrictions on the use of fireworks due to a burn ban

* Purchase fireworks from reliable, licensed fireworks dealers

* Purchase only the quantity of fireworks that you will use

* Store fireworks in a cool, dry place

* Read all instructions on the fireworks package to reduce the chances of a fire or injury

* Have a water hose or fire extinguisher nearby in case of an unanticipated fire

* Create a clear level surface to display your permissible fireworks away from things that can burn, or that easily ignite
"Be Safe" when lighting fireworks:

* Adults should be the only possessing and displaying fireworks, children should not handle fireworks

* Follow the safety guidelines and lighting instructions on the fireworks packaging

* Always wear eye protection

* Light only one device at a time and move away quickly

* Keep all spectators at a safe distance

* Display permissible fireworks only outdoors, away from anything that can burn, or easily ignite

* Never light fireworks indoors

* Never shoot fireworks in windy conditions

* Devices that do not fire once they are lit are very dangerous; if a firework device does not fire keep away from it for at least ten minutes or more, then soak it with water before disposing of it

* Be considerate of your neighbors, family pets and the environment

* Do not place fireworks in your pockets

* Don't use fireworks while consuming alcohol. Use a "designated shooter"

* Call 911 immediately in the event of a fire or medical emergency, don't wait
"Be responsible" when finished:

* Clean up all debris when finished.

* Always make sure that unused fireworks, matches and lighters are secured and out of the reach of children

* Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water and leaving them in a metal ash can
Please, "Be Prepared", "Be Safe", and "Be Responsible" when using Colorado permissible fireworks and celebrate safely this Fourth of July.

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