Fireworks are cool. But don’t forget safety first
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Asher Redd
The United States is coming up on its 246th birthday, and that calls for lighting up the night sky with big, beautiful explosives.
Around West Alabama, fireworks stands are preparing for their biggest business all year, as families flock to see what sorts of things they can set on fire and watch go boom. Or fizz. Or woosh.
And while other businesses have been suffering because of COVID-19, the fireworks business is still hot.
“COVID-19 negatively affected a lot of businesses, but it did not negatively affect the fireworks business,” said Dizzy Dean’s Fireworks owner Glenn Dodd. “Our fireworks sales over the last couple of years have skyrocketed.”
But as more people buy fireworks, first responders around the state encourage a whole lot of caution.
“Be particularly careful of your eyes,” said Northport Fire Rescue Public Information Officer Capt. Jason Norris. “Wear eye protection and have the means to put a fire out if one may occur.”
Each year, fireworks are responsible for 20,000 fires across the nation. It’s also a big time for emergency room visits, with the most common injuries being burns.
Sparklers, the most innocuous of fireworks, can get as hot as 1,200 degrees. To put that in perspective, glass melts at 900 degrees.
If you’re lighting sparklers with your children, make sure you:
- Only use them outside and with adult supervision
- Don’t run with or throw lit sparklers
- Wear closed-toe shoes to avoid accidental burns and avoid loose-fitting clothing
- Douse exhausted sparklers in a bucket of water
While sparklers are legal everywhere, if you’re planning on shooting actual fireworks on July 4, be aware of your local laws. Fireworks are banned within Tuscaloosa and Northport city limits. In general, residents who don’t live in incorporated cities can shoot fireworks on private property. If you’re unsure about the legality of fireworks where you live, give your local fire, police or sheriff’s department a call.