As Independence Day
approaches, State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson is urging Hoosiers to practice
safety when it comes to fireworks.
In 2017, 77 percent
of all reported firework injuries occurred from July 1-7, and 39.5 percent
of all firework injuries occurred on July 4. “Fireworks can cause serious
injuries if not properly handled,” Greeson said a statement released this
week. “If planning to use personal fireworks, always follow label
instructions and keep precautions such as a hose or bucket of water nearby.
Taking a few seconds to think about safety is important for everyone
Last year, 238
firework-related injuries were reported to the Indiana State Department of
Health (ISDH). Of those cases:
* More than
one-third of all reported firework-related injuries involved individuals 18
years of age and younger.
* 30 percent of
firework-related burn injuries were to the hands or fingers.
* Eye injuries
accounted for 11.7 percent of the total number of injuries.
* 49 percent of the
injuries were caused by firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers.
* Malfunctioning or
mishandling of fireworks accounted for nearly 57 percent of reported cases.
* Fireworks use on
private property accounted for 61.3 percent of reported cases.
“The only time
children should be allowed to handle any type of firework is when an adult
is there to supervise,” the statement said. “Children should never be left
alone with fireworks, not even sparklers. Sparklers can burn at
approximately 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit (which can melt glass). A safer
alternative for younger children would be glow sticks.”
To keep this
holiday season fun filled for everyone involved, follow these tips:
* Steer clear of
others setting off fireworks. They can backfire or shoot off in the wrong
* Never throw or
point fireworks at someone, even as a joke.
* Do not attempt to
make or alter any fireworks or firework devices.
* Always have a
fire extinguisher or water supply, such as a hose or bucket of water,
* Only light one
firework at a time and never attempt to re-light or fix a “dud” firework.
* Do not pick up
pieces of fireworks after being lit or after an event. Some may still be
ignited and can explode at any time.
* Think about pets.
Animals have sensitive ears and can be very frightened or stressed by
firework sounds. Keeping pets indoors can reduce the risk that they’ll run
loose or get injured.
Fireworks may only
be set off legally at these places:
* On the user’s
* On the property
of someone who has consented to the use of fireworks.
* 0r at locally
identified special discharge locations. Not all communities designate a
special discharge location.
Note: a person who
sets off fireworks, even in a legal location, may still be held liable for
any resulting injuries or damage caused to another person or property.
consequences that come with breaking the laws regarding fireworks. Keep
these facts in mind:
* A person under
the age of 18 possessing or using fireworks without an adult present could
face a fine of $500 per infraction.
* A person using
fireworks anywhere other than the three listed places above could face a
maximum fine of $500 per infraction.
* Causing damage to
someone else’s property with fireworks could result in a fine of $5,000, and
one year imprisonment, in addition to being financially liable for any
In the Town of
Chesterton, the legal use of fireworks is restricted to these days and
* From 5 p.m. until
two hours after sunset, from June 29 through July 3; and then July 5-9.
* From 10 a.m.
until midnight on July 4.