Ringing Hill Fire Company warns that the erroneous use of fireworks by amateurs has the potential to make July 4 more dangerous than festive. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are more than 19,500 fires started annually due to fireworks.
In Pennsylvania, the law allows residents to buy “consumer fireworks,” or more specifically, fire crackers, Roman candles, bottle works and others that contain a maximum of 50 milligrams of explosive material. However, many of these are not allowed in certain municipalities so be sure to check those rules and regulations, as well as noise ordinances. Professional-grade “display fireworks” are illegal for residents across the state.
With many firework shows being cancelled this year due to social distancing, the American Pyrotechnics Association reported early data for 2020 on firework sales. Retailers are seeing an increase in sales up to 200% compared to this time last year.
While firework sales by consumers are up, keep in mind that no fireworks are completely safe. Even sparklers are dangerous with the capability to heat up to 1,200 degrees, cause third-degree burns and serious eye injuries. Sparklers are popular among children, which may explain why children ages 10-14 have the highest rate of fireworks injuries.
For those planning to use fireworks this Independence Day, please stay safe and remember:
- Do NOT try to fix duds or relight them.
- NEVER use fireworks indoors.
- Do NOT use fireworks in windy or dry conditions.
- NEVER aim a firework at yourself, another person, animals or buildings.
- ALWAYS have water handy and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Want to Keep Others Safe? Consider Volunteering
If you have a natural interest in protecting lives and property, not just on July 4 but year round, becoming a volunteer firefighter might be right for you. No experience is needed and training and gear are free. To learn more about volunteering with Ringing Hill Fire Company, visit www.JoinRingingHill.org.