As Memphians prepare to observe the 4th of July, public safety officials are warning celebrants to practice safety.
On an average, approximately 30,100 fires and 9,500 injuries occur as a result of the use of fireworks each year, according to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The NFPA encourages citizens to enjoy public displays of fireworks that comply with NFPA 1123, and strongly oppose the use of fireworks by the consumer. Also, according to the Shelby County Tennessee Code of Ordinances, Section 22-36, it is prohibited to sale or use fireworks without a permit.
To those choosing to use fireworks at any time of the year, the United States Fire Administration (USFA) recommends some basic steps for safety.
1. Never allow your children to play with or ignite fireworks. Adults should supervise fireworks activities.
2. Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them. Remember, there are penalties for violations.
3. Parents often don’t realize there are many injuries from sparklers to children under five. Sparklers burn hot enough to melt some metals.
4. Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
5. Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.
6. Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
7. Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishaps.
8. Light one item at a time and then move back quickly.
9. Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
10. After fireworks fully complete their functioning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding.
If you’re using an outdoor grill, it also is important to be safe, the Memphis Fire Department advises. Grillers should read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and never leave grills unattended for children to tamper or play with.