Fourth of July fireworks bring added concern

By Tiffany Blackmon - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC)- Fireworks, they're how we celebrate America's birthday, but the recent dry weather means an added concern for firefighters this Fourth of July.

Chief Jude Savoie, with the Carlyss Fire Department stated, "Oh by far yes, for the fire departments it will be, because once again, when fireworks come down, if they're still hot, it can very well start a grass fire."

So with the added risk, should fireworks be banned this Fourth?

Shannon Spell, a District 1 Police Juror for the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, said, "Your governing authority could create an ordinance restricting the use of fireworks. I know as a police juror, I would prefer to stay away from legislating responsible activity."

So instead of enforcing responsible behavior, officials want to encourage it.

"Be careful of wind, don't fire any rockets or aerials into high winds," said Chief Savoie, "Maybe use fire works that don't shoot up high in the air, so we won't have to worry about the debris falling and starting a fire."

Besides the threat that fireworks pose to dry conditions, officials are also stressing the importance of individual safety when using fireworks.

Chief Savoie added, "Nationally a lot of people will have it [fireworks] blow up in their hands, they'll have hand injuries or possibly something go off and get some gun powder debris in their eyes, so wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks and keep everybody back a good distance. It's easier to see them when they go up in the air if you're back and not sitting on top of them."

Only adults should handle fireworks. There should always be a water hose handy, and remember to dial 911 immediately should an incident occur.

Spell concluded, "The biggest thing is as a community we need to make sure we act responsibly so we minimize any potential harmful situations or damages to our neighbors property."

Chief Savoie also recommends that if you do try to light a firework and it doesn't ignite, wait five minutes, then pour water on it. Do not try and re-light it.

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