Chesterton Tribune



Don't be stupid: State Fire Marshal urges folks to use fireworks safely

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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 involved.”

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 direction.

* 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, nearby.

* 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 property

* 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.

There are 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 damage.

In Chesterton

In the Town of Chesterton, the legal use of fireworks is restricted to these days and hours:

* 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.


Posted 6/29/2018




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