As the Fourth of July nears, people look forward to enjoying time with their families and friends while watching fireworks light the sky. Many will attend public fireworks displays conducted by professional pyrotechnics companies, while others will purchase consumer fireworks for personal use.
While the beauty of the fireworks is unquestionable, the public must recognize the safety responsibilities they have when they purchase and use fireworks. Some companies, including Fireworks of Alabama provide safety instructions to their customers and recommend the use of goggles or safety glasses when fireworks are being shot.
The Alabama State Fire Marshals Office appreciates the efforts of the fireworks companies who attempt to help their customers have a happier holiday season by providing safety tips on the use of fireworks.
The Alabama State Fire Marshals Office wants to remind anyone buying fireworks of several important rules or laws –
- Consumer fireworks must be sold from locations licensed by the State Fire Marshals Office. Anyone knowing of a sales location that is not properly licensed should contact the State Fire Marshals Office immediately by calling 334-241-4166.
- In addition to state laws affecting the sale and use of fireworks, local jurisdictions may have requirements that the public must follow. Check with local fire and law enforcement agencies to determine if fireworks are legal and under what circumstances.
- Fireworks can not be sold to anyone less than 16 years of age unless they are accompanied by an adult.
- Never place fireworks in pockets or inside any clothing.
- Under no circumstances may fireworks be carried onto airplanes, placed in luggage to be checked or mailed. As one fireworks company phrases it – “Fireworks cannot fly!”
- Always read and follow instructions accompanying fireworks.
- Never point or throw fireworks at people, vehicles or buildings.
- Fireworks should only be used under close adult supervision and should never be given to children to handle.
- Light only one firework device at a time and never attempt to re-light a device if the fuse appears to have gone out. Wait thirty (30) minutes, pour water on the unexploded device and dispose of the unexploded device so it does not present a danger to others.
- Never attempt to manufacture pyrotechnics or any explosive device.
- Never place fireworks in metal or glass containers, and never hold fireworks in your hand while lighting them. Place them on the ground before lighting.
- Use fireworks outdoors and only in clear areas away from buildings, vehicles and vegetation which may catch fire.
- Fireworks should never be used by anyone who is drinking alcoholic beverages or taking medications which impair their ability to respond immediately to an emergency situation.
- Never shoot fireworks from inside a vehicle.
- Always wear safety goggles or glasses when shooting fireworks.