Greenville City Fire Department (GCFD) reminds citizens to be cautious while celebrating the 4th of July holiday.
Fire authorities highly oppose the use of fireworks by individuals, according to Fire Marshal Tristan Johnson, and encourage citizens to find other alternatives to celebrate the 4th of July.
“If residents choose to use fireworks, we want to make sure they make informed purchases and take the appropriate precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe,” said Johnson. “We also want to remind residents of the City’s fireworks ordinance.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fireworks start about 19,500 reported fires each year, and also cause thousands of injuries.
To buy fireworks, you must be 16 or older, and you should only buy them from a licensed store, according to Johnson. A tent or truck cannot sell fireworks, and all fireworks stands must be inspected by the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Law enforcement and the State Fire Marshal have the authority to seize illegal fireworks and fireworks sold from an unauthorized stand.
GCFD recommends the following firework safety tips:
- Only buy fireworks from retailers permitted through the Fire Marshal’s Office
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place
- Always have an adult present when shooting fireworks
- Use common sense and always read and follow the directions on each firework
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person
- Only use fireworks outdoors, away from homes, dry grass, and trees
- Light one firework at a time and keep a safe distance
- Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks
- Never give fireworks to small children
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket
- Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse
- Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks
- Put used fireworks in a bucket of water and keep a garden hose on hand
The following is a list of some GCFD alternatives to fireworks:
- Use glow sticks instead of sparklers
- Pass out red, white and blue silly string
- Look for confetti poppers and colorful streamers at a party supply store
- Throw a birthday party for the USA, including a cake
- Set up a screen in the backyard and have a family movie night
- Make a patriotic craft as a family