MAKE FIREWORK SAFETY A PRIORITY THIS HOLIDAY
By Guest Columnist Stephanie Duguid
The State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) encourages firework safety this Independence Day whether at home or at a firework show.
“The SFMO performs pyrotechnic inspections for shows that are performed on state owned properties,” said State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney. “It’s up to you to set your own safety standards when shooting fireworks at home. That means using common sense, never pointing fireworks at another person, and disposing of fireworks in water to prevent fire.”
Pyrotechnics companies must apply for a permit for shows on state-owned property. Once received, the SFMO verifies all information pertaining to insurance, technicians, and local public safety information. Deputies must be on site for the firing of the display and clean up.
Fireworks were involved in more than 15,000 injuries treated in U.S. hospitals in 2020, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC also reports a 50 percent increase in deaths and injuries compared to 2019.
The Mississippi State Fire Marshal suggests you follow these safety tips:
• Observe local laws.
o Those wishing to purchase and use fireworks should first check with their fire
protection officials to make sure that local laws are being followed.
o Some municipalities prohibit fireworks from being used within city limits.
• Use common sense: always read and follow the directions on each firework.
• Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
• Buy from reliable fireworks sellers. Store them in a cool, dry place.
• Always have an adult present when shooting fireworks.
• Put used fireworks in a bucket of water and have a hose ready.
• Only use fireworks outdoors, away from homes, dry grass, and trees.
• Light only one item at a time and keep a safe distance.
• Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks.
• Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks.
• Never give fireworks to small children.
• Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
• Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.