Fire marshal’s office urges safety with celebrations

Fireworks displays across the county have prompted the fire marshal’s office to warn celebrants to be safe while showing their patriotic pride.
Deputy Fire Marshal Chase Lancaster said it’s important to keep safety at the top of the list.  State data showed that in 2019, 149 people visited emergency rooms across the state due to fireworks accidents. Of those, 124 were male, with most between the ages of 15 and 24. Female patients were on average one to four years of age. More than half of all fireworks injuries among children involve sparklers. Adults should always supervise children, even with seemingly harmless sparklers.
“Sparklers burn at a temperature of about 2,000 degrees,” Lancaster said. “They can cause third degree burns.
“Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks,” Lancaster said.
Always keep a bucket of water, garden hose or fire extinguisher close by in case of fire. The bucket can also be used to douse fireworks before disposal.
Carrying fireworks in a pocket, holding a device or firing one from a metal or glass container should always be avoided. Fireworks that fail to ignite should doused with water, not relit.
“Never place any art of your body over a firework device when you’re lighting it,” Lancaster said.
While there are a wide variety of fireworks that are both fun and legal in North Carolina, Lancaster said that anything that leaves the ground is prohibited.
“Fireworks in brown paper are made for professional displays,” he said. “Avoid buying those types. They can be more powerful than you realize.”
Alcohol should never be consumed when fireworks are involved, Lancaster said.
“We just want everyone to have a safe time this year, with no accidents and nothing but memories,’ Lancaster said.

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