COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – This holiday weekend is seeing a record in fireworks demand, according to industry experts. WRBL spoke with Columbus Fire Marshall and Division Chief John Shull about fireworks safety and he gave us his top five tips (with no particular order of importance).
1: Proper Storage
“First of all you want to store fireworks in a position that is out of reach of children,” said Shull. Kids, especially the smaller variety, can really harm themselves with fireworks. They don’t even need fire to do it. If one of your tots eat a firework, they can get very sick.
2: Stay Back
Shull told WRBL that making space is important: “You want to make sure observers and children are at a safe distance when you’re using fireworks.” Some fireworks jump, some spin, some twist, and others explode multiple times. Keeping a safe distance could be the difference between a good time and a hospital visit.
3: Sober usage
Shull said, “You shouldn’t consume alcohol when you’re using fireworks.” This one is self-explanatory. However, internet video sites are full of examples of people ignoring this advice.
4: Don’t hold or point
“You should never hold the firework or point it at anybody while using fireworks,” warns Shull. People have lost fingers and hands holding fireworks while lighting them. One incident of some holding a firework shell while lighting it left a 12 year old boy dead.
5: Be mindful of your surroundings
“Pay attention to what’s going on around your neighborhood. Be on the look for other people’s houses. Embers can get away. Fireworks can let out a lot of heat so there’s great possibility that that can cause a fire,” Schull told WRBL.