Light up the night with pyrotechnics

Published 1:14 am Wednesday, December 30, 2009

When you have a New Year’s Day celebration, you’ve got to have fireworks, and local stands have been busy over the last couple of weeks to help keep people fortified with the necessary noisemakers to help ring in the new year.

“We’ve had in-and-out customers,” said Clara Overstreet, the proprietor of USA Fireworks located next to Parr’s Chevron West. “Mostly, the people who have been in here has been kids. They by the Moon Travelers and the Roman candles, and they like to buy the small package that we have.”

Sparklers and bottle rockets are also longstanding favorites among celebrants, but many people buy the packages that contain different fireworks.

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At the Holiday Fireworks stand on Wal Mart Drive owned by Buddy Cook, Justin Hannah has been helping people prepare for the holiday.

“Everybody likes the artillery shells, because they make a big ‘boom,’” he said. “The bottle rockets have been big. A lot of kids come here, and they like to see those shoot up. That’s something they can do.

“Another thing is our bundle pack. We’ve got different kinds of bundle packs that parents get if they have multiple children. That way, they can divide it out. That’s one of our biggest sellers.”

As fun as it is, there are also legal rules and safety rules to follow to make sure you have a fun time without injury.

In Demopolis, City Ordinance 2001-3 outlines the sale and use of common Class C fireworks within the city limits. According to the ordinance, fireworks may be sold and discharged in Demopolis during only two times of the year: from Dec. 15 to Jan. 2 and from June 20 to July 10. Fireworks may be sold from 8 a.m. to midnight on those days, and may be discharge from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., with a special provision for New Year’s Eve, extending the firing time to 1 a.m.

Demopolis Fire and Rescue Department chief Ronnie Few wants people to be safe and injury-free on New Year’s Eve.

“There are a lot of injuries every year by using fireworks improperly,” Few said. “Hand injuries and eye injuries are the most frequent. We’ve been fairly safe here in Demopolis, but you never can be too safe.”

Among the tips that Few had were to use fireworks and sparkler outdoors only; to use fireworks as intended and not to try to alter or combine them; that children under the age of 16 should have adult supervision; and to have a bucket of water or water hose nearby.

Another tip that Few mentioned was that parents should pay special attention to children using sparklers. Sparklers reach a temperature of up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, so children should not touch the lit portion of sparklers and should not throw them or play games with them.

New Year’s Eve is a fun time, especially shooting off fireworks to celebrate the movement into a new year. Following the city laws and safety rules regarding fireworks will help keep it a happy and healthy celebration.