‘If you’re going to enjoy fireworks, leave it to the professionals:’ Fire officials offer safety tips ahead of holiday weekend

‘If you’re going to enjoy fireworks, leave it to the professionals:’ Fire officials offer safety tips ahead of holiday weekend
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 8:57 PM EDT
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LELAND, N.C. (WECT) - There will be plenty of firework shows to catch around southeastern North Carolina heading into the Fourth of July weekend, but there a lot of factors that go into the added danger of shooting them off.

Emergency responders say that you should think and plan ahead before lighting the match.

“Number one, alcohol and fireworks do not mix,” said Battalion Chief James Lancaster with Leland Fire and Rescue. “It’s a recipe for disaster. Children and fireworks don’t belong together either, especially young children. So be very mindful, watch your children.”

Chief Lancaster says that it’s best to catch a firework show from the professionals, but if you do plan to set them off yourself, there are some things you should keep in mind.

First, you need an ample amount of space between you and any structure so that it does not catch fire. Ideally, that space is around 50 feet. Another helpful tip is to have water nearby incase something does go wrong. Lancaster says, whether that’s a garden hose or a five gallon bucket, any source of water is helpful.

He also urges that you keep your pets inside this weekend. Many calls that they’ve responded to in the past have been from pets getting hurt or running away due to the noise from fireworks.

“We’ve seen people light their clothes on fire, and now we have to treat them for burns,” he says. “We have to get EMS involved after the hospital, maybe even the burn center. And all of these are very realistic scenarios that happen regularly.”

This year, some firework stores are even jumping in on the cause to stress safety to their customers.

“We try and provide punks, which is a long stick that allows them to burn their fireworks from a distance and burned slow like incense,” says TNT Fireworks Representative Sabrina Jarman. “So it gives them some safety. All of our bags actually have a safety instructions on them.”

Chief Lancaster says he doesn’t want to ruin the holiday fun for anyone, but wants people to take those precautions so they won’t have to show up on your doorstep.

“Stay safe,” he says. “Please be mindful, especially of pets and animals and keep yourself and your loved ones safe. If you’re going to enjoy fireworks, leave it to the professionals.”

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