DFD: Take firework caution in dry conditions

Published 5:53 pm Friday, July 1, 2011

Shooting fireworks in the City of Demopolis this Fourth of July is not against the rules, but Demopolis Fire and Rescue Chief Ronnie Few says it’s not a particularly good idea.

While the area received nearly an inch of rain earlier this week, Few said it was far short of what is needed to alleviate dry conditions that could spur disaster if met with flame or fireworks.

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“It would be safer for everyone to go down to the river and watch the display there,” Few said of potential fire hazard fireworks pose. “Those are professionals and they’ll be shooting them over water.”

A No Burn Order remains in effect for Marengo County, however, in the city of Demopolis, the sale and discharge of fireworks remains legal.

The City of Linden earlier this week banned both the sale and use of fireworks in observance of the ban on burning.

“It’s still legal,” Few said, “but conditions being what they are – dry – there’s a lot of potential out there for big problems, namely fires.”

For those who still opt to shoot the displays themselves, Few asked that several safety precautions be observed:

•Use fireworks and sparklers outdoors only

•Children under the age of 16 should be supervised by adults

•Obey all local laws in using fireworks

•Use fireworks only as intended. Do not attempt to alter them

•Do not drink alcohol and use fireworks

•Always have a bucket of water or hose nearby

•Do not allow children to touch the tip of sparklers. Sparklers can reach temperatures of 1800 degrees

“Most of all, make sure you have a clear area to work in,” Few said. “You don’t need to have a bunch of dry grass around. You need to be on asphalt, concrete, gravel or something like that.”