Reminder: Be safe if using fireworks at home

Thousands of people are injured each year from not properly handling fireworks. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission 11, 500 of those injuries were severe enough to be treated at hospitals, others ended in death.

And yet many people will choose to celebrate the coming of the new year with at home fireworks.

Danielle Jeter manages Ninja Fireworks in Northport. She said her store will be crowded until New Year’s Day.

“Oh it will be packed until the 31st. We get so full. We have lots of customers. We do our best to get everybody through as quickly as possible. We try to guarantee that we give them the best experience possible,” said Jeter.

Jeter agrees with Northport Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Roger Potter who says if you are going to celebrate at home, be sure to do it safely.

“If you do decide to purchase your own fireworks and put on your own show, we recommend that you read over the manufacture’s recommendations and instructions. And be sure to set them up a good distance away from people,” said Potter.

Chief Potter also recommends keeping a close eye on children and pets. Make sure they are a safe distance away from the fireworks as well. He said if you aren’t capable of taking all the precautions then going to a professional fireworks show may be your best choice.

Tips to Celebrate Safely:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away from the fireworks device quickly.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water, and throw them away.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never point or throw fireworks (including sparklers) at anyone.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, to prevent a trash fire, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device.
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area, and only purchase and set off fireworks that are labeled for consumer (not professional) use.

It is illegal to shoot firecrackers in the cities of Tuscaloosa and Northport, but not in Tuscaloosa County.

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