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Remember safety for a happy and festive Fourth

It’s nearly the Fourth of July, Independence Day, when Americans celebrate the beginning of what has become their way of life with friends, food and, of course, fireworks.

For this Fourth of July weekend, the Demopolis Fire and Rescue Department and chief Ronnie Few have a list of rules to live by when using fireworks, in the hopes that the people of the city will follow these guidelines and enjoy their holiday.

Always read and follow label instructions.

Buy from reliable vendors only.

Use fireworks outdoors, never under a covered structure.

Have a responsible adult present.

Always have water nearby (a garden hose or bucket).

Never experiment or make your own fireworks.

Light only one firework at a time.

Never relight a “dud” firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).

Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and disposing of them in a trash can.

Teach older children how to use fireworks responsibly.

Never give fireworks to small children. They are not toys.

Never throw or point fireworks at other people.

Never carry fireworks in your pocket.

Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.

The shooter should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.

Stay away from illegal explosives.

Since 2001, city ordinances have stated that the hours that fireworks can be fired are from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. during specified dates.

Few said that in his time as Demopolis’s fire chief, fireworks have been safe, and he does not expect any problems this Fourth of July.