Fireworks safety tips ahead of New Year’s Eve

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — New Year’s Eve is quickly approaching, and people are no doubt ready to end 2020. If you plan to ring in the new year with fireworks, it’s important to do so safely.

“Make sure that it’s controlled,” Benton Fire Chief J.T. Wallace said, “and that you do it with safety in mind.”

Here are some helpful tips to remember if you’re shooting off fireworks this year.

  1. Be aware of your area. The winter weather provides drier conditions, so make sure you have a water source nearby.
  2. Make sure the people operating the fireworks are old enough to understand the consequences.
  3. It’s also important to remember we are still in a pandemic. If you plan on shooting off fireworks in a group, or going to a show, follow social distancing guidelines and wear a mask.

More than one-third of victims of fireworks-related injuries were under the age of 15, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission 2018 Annual Fireworks Report.

“You don’t want to have (the firework) in your hand so that it causes a burn or even worse, maybe lose a finger off a hand or whatever,” said Chief Wallace.”

More than 19,500 reported fires are started by fireworks annually, according to that same 2018 CPSC Fireworks Report.

“You have to remember that the foliage is either dead or dormant, and that you have the danger of it catching fire,” Chief Wallace said.

According to the Shreveport Police Department, Fireworks, excluding bottle rockets and sky rockets, may be sold and discharged within the city limits during designated times of the year only. Those times in Shreveport are Noon on December 15 to 10 p.m. on January 1, except for the hours of 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. on all days except New Year’s Eve when fireworks may be sold and discharged until 1 a.m. on January 1.

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