With the Fourth of July holiday coming up this weekend, local officials are reminding families to be careful when setting off fireworks.
Maysville Fire Chief Kevin Doyle said he always suggests families go to a professional fireworks show instead, but understands some may want to set off their own, smaller shows at home.
“Seeing a professional show is the safest route,” he said. “However, if you’re going to set the fireworks off at home, make sure you’re using them appropriately.”
Doyle said to never hold fireworks or shoot them toward another person, always use a solid foundation and make sure to back away at a safe distance. A water hose or water bucket should be available in case of a fire.
“Be careful around little kids,” he said. “We often think of sparklers and similar fireworks being safe, but you still need to use caution.”
According to Doyle, fireworks should also be soaked before disposing of them.
Noah Gordley, who manages the fireworks stall in the Bluegrass Shopping Center, had a few suggestions for families as well.
According to Gordley, some of the biggest sellers are aerial mortars.
“Those are a big seller for us. Anyone under 18 should have supervision by an adult,” he said. “Most of the things we have here are made for kids, but we always recommend adult assistance. Be safe, shoot them away from people.”
According to Gordley, there has been a lot of rain, which could help lower the possibility of fires from fireworks.
“We just want everyone to be safe,” he said. “We’re here for the best deals in town and to make sure people have fun.”
Rebecca Cartmell, with the Humane Society of Buffalo Trace, said families also need to remember that pets are often frightened of fireworks and many will run away from home during the Fourth of July.
“Most pets are very frightened by fireworks,” she said. “It’s common to hear of animals running away from home this time of year — which is why we suggest having them micro chipped, so you can prove the pet is yours. We always recommend someone stay with the animal when fireworks are being set off, stay inside the house with the pet, cover its ears. That’s what I would do for my animal.”
The National Safety Council also had some suggestions:
— Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
— Older children should use them only under close adult supervision.
— Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
— Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eye wear.
— Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands.
— Never light them indoors.
— Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material.
— Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
— Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting.
— Never ignite devices in a container.
— Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
— Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
— Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire.
— Never use illegal fireworks.