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Fireworks safety should be top priority

Shooting off fireworks is a fun, festive tradition to ring in the new year. That fun can quickly turn to panic and pain if you don’t use fireworks safely.

Chief Ronnie Few of the Demopolis Fire and Rescue Department has issued a list of safety tips and do’s and don’ts for celebrating New Year’s Eve.

Buy fireworks from reliable vendors only, and always read and follow the directions on the labels. Use fireworks outdoors — never under a covered structure, and always have an adult present.

Never experiment with fireworks, and light only one firework at a time. Always have water handy, like a garden hose and a bucket. Never try to relight a “dud.” Wait 15 to 20 minutes, then put the “dud” in a bucket of water.

Never give fireworks to small children or throw or point them at other people. Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them from metal or glass containers. Teach older children to use fireworks responsibly.

The shooter should always wear eye protection and never have any part of his body over the firework. Finally, dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water, then disposing of them in the trash can.

Have fun with fireworks, but be smart. Always be aware of where everyone in your group is before shooting off fireworks so they don’t fly towards anyone. Be aware of your surroundings and think safety when shooting near trees, plants, buildings and streets.

For more information about fireworks safety, contact the Demopolis Fire and Rescue Department at 289-1212.