At least two Alabama stands have been found to have illegal fireworks containing three times the legal amount of explosive material, spurring the Alabama State Fire Marshals Office to issue a warning to Alabama consumers in advance of Independence Day.
“These are not mere firecrackers,” State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk said Thursday. “They are explosives and they are illegal. If you are a dealer or a consumer and have them in your possession, you should contact our office so that we can properly dispose of these explosives.
“We are interested in finding who is supplying Alabama fireworks retailers with illegal explosives because they need to be stopped.”
The Alabama State Fire Marshals Office can be reached at 334-241-4166 or at 800-433-3966.
Paulk also said the presence of the illegal fireworks shouldn’t overshadow the need for safety with legal fireworks. The Fire Marshals Office offers the following tips.
• Consumer fireworks must be sold from locations licensed by the Alabama 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 cannot 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.
• 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 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.