State fire marshal offers fireworks safety tips

The Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) encourages fireworks safety this Independence Day whether at home or at a fireworks show.

“Public fireworks displays may be more highly attended this year than last year when many shows were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney. “The SFMO performs pyrotechnic inspections for shows that are performed on state owned properties.”

Pyrotechnics companies must apply for the permit for their show.  Once received, the SFMO verifies all information pertaining to insurance, technicians, and local public safety information. Deputies must be on site for the firing of the display and clean up. 

Fireworks were involved in an estimated 10,000 injuries treated in U.S. hospitals in 2019, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. The risk of fireworks injury is often highest for young people ages 0-4. Sparklers pose a special threat to children and should only be used with adult supervision.

Fire Marshal Chaney suggests you follow these safety tips:

•        Observe local laws.

o   Those wishing to purchase and use fireworks should first check with their fire protection officials to make sure that local laws are being followed.

o   Some municipalities prohibit fireworks from being used within city limits.

•        Use common sense: always read and follow the directions on each firework.

•        Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

•        Buy from reliable fireworks sellers. Store them in a cool, dry place.

•        Always have an adult present when shooting fireworks.

•        Put used fireworks in a bucket of water and have a hose ready.

•        Only use fireworks outdoors, away from homes, dry grass, and trees.

•        Light only one item at a time and keep a safe distance.

•        Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks.

•        Never reignite malfunctioning fireworks.

•        Never give fireworks to small children.

•        Never carry fireworks in your pocket.

•        Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.

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