BOONE — As the July 4 holiday approaches, Boone Fire Department is reminding the community “to be fire smart.”
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, just fewer than 13,000 Americans are injured by fireworks annually with an average of eight deaths ranging in age from 4 to 57. Sparklers are one of the leading causes of injuries and can burn at 2,000 degrees — hot enough to melt glass. Boone Fire encourages the community to consider giving children glow sticks instead of sparklers.
The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays put on by professionals who know how to safely handle fireworks. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many professional shows have been canceled. The town of Boone canceled its Fourth of July parade and evening fireworks display at Clawson-Burnley Park due to concerns related to COVID-19.
If community members choose to use their own fireworks, Boone Fire urges that only fireworks that are sold legally in North Carolina are used. The following types of fireworks are illegal in North Carolina: anything that explodes or is projected into the air, firecrackers, rockets, Roman candles and aerial fireworks.
If community members choose to use fireworks, Boone Fire encourages them to follow some safety tips:
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Never stand directly over fireworks when lighting.
- Never light fireworks indoors.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks
- Always stand several feet away from a lit firework.
- Always read the directions and warning labels on fireworks.
- Always keep a bucket of water or garden hose handy in case of fire.
The department also advises that adults supervise children around fireworks, as well as to remember to always have a fire extinguisher nearby. Community members are also asked to ensure everyone knows to stop, drop and roll if your clothing catches fire. Make sure to call 911 if a burn warrants medical attention.