The Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s (KCTCS) Kentucky Fire Commission encourages everyone to be safe this Fourth of July holiday and to carefully follow instructions when celebrating with consumer fireworks.
“With the drought conditions, fireworks can quickly get out of control,” said Kentucky Fire Commission Executive Director Ronnie Day. “Citizens should be aware that sparks from fireworks can ignite dried grass and shrubbery and can cause fires to spread quickly.” According to the Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF), more than 70 Kentucky counties have implemented burn bans to restrict any outdoor burning. County burn bans are issued by the county judge-executive to address local conditions and are enforced by all law enforcement officers with assistance from KDF. Burn bans generally prohibit campfires, bonfires and burning of leaves, debris, grass, crops and woodlands. They may also prohibit or regulate fireworks if included in the ban.
Day says the holiday can also bring an increase in serious injuries.
“Although fireworks are fun, we forget we’re dealing with explosives that we have little to no control over.”
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in 2010, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,600 people for fireworks-related injuries. Most of those injuries were to the eyes, fingers, arms, hands, face and ears, from burning or exploding fireworks. Fireworks Safety TipsThe safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the many public displays; however, if you are having a home fireworks display in a non-banned county, here are some safety guidelines to follow: Purchase fireworks from an established, reputable dealer. Follow the manufacturer directions. Have water available for extinguishment of discarded fireworks or an emergency. Place legally purchased fireworks on a flat surface, clear of combustible materials and clear of all buildings. Light only one firework at a time. Never point or throw fireworks at another person. Keep bystanders at least 25 feet away from fireworks. Do not permit young children to handle or ignite fireworks. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place. Remember to stop, drop and roll if your clothes catch on fire.