Fireworks are associated with many fires and injuries nationally each year. South Whidbey Fire/EMS does not advocate the private use of fireworks.
However, if citizens intend to use fireworks, the following safety guidelines are offered to reduce fireworks injuries, fires and nuisance complaints:
- Read, understand and follow the instructions on each device prior to using.
- Use fireworks with close adult supervision. Never allow a small child to use fireworks.
- Choose a safe place to use fireworks that is far from anything that could be damaged from the normal or abnormal operation of any device. Fireworks should only be ignited outdoors and away from animals, buildings, storage tanks, brush or combustible materials.
- If the wind is blowing in excess of 10 miles per hour, do not ignite aerial fireworks.
- Anyone acting in an irresponsible manner or who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or other drugs should not handle or discharge fireworks.
- Keep fireworks away from small children and store them in a cool dry location away from sources of ignition (heat and flames). Fireworks should not be allowed to become wet and should not be used when dried after becoming wet.
- Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or on your person.
- Lit cigarettes, cigars, pipes or open flames should be kept away from fireworks when stored.
- Never ignite fireworks inside another container, such as inside a bottle or can.
- Eye protection is recommended for those using fireworks. Never throw fireworks or aim them at another person, animal or building.
- Only light one firework device at a time, then move away from the device quickly. Keep clear of any device that has been ignited, but has yet to go off.
- If a firework device has been ignited but fails to go off, stay clear of the device for an extended period of time to prevent injury due to delayed activation. Soak the device in water before handling it.
- Never place any part of your body, especially your head, over the firework device when lighting. Approach the item from the side and light while keeping your body away from the item.
- Never relight malfunctioning fireworks.
- Never experiment with fireworks, make your own fireworks, or alter fireworks in any manner (a strong federal prohibition exists for such activity).
For more information, contact South Whidbey Fire/EMS at 360-321-1533.