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Fireworks safety reminders for 4th of July

Many people think fireworks safety begins once you light the flame. But here’s tip number one, it actually begins with where and who you get your fireworks from.

Louisiana State Fire Marshal Chief H. “Butch” Browning says you should be getting your pyrotechnics from a licensed retailer. And if someone is selling it out their car or going door to door that may be as sign that vendor is not licensed.

Chief Browning says, “In our inspections we’re making sure the type of devices that are being sold are approved devices that are safer.”

Next, you want to make sure you are aware of all the warnings.

Jennifer James is the assistant manager at Louisiana Fireworks in Lafayette. They opened Monday June 24th and close their doors Friday July 5th.

James says they’re always reminding customers to be cautious. “If there’s anything we know, say it is maybe not safe for kids to do we just tell them while they’re checking out and we also have warning signs and everything posted on the firework itself and then we have signs around the store.”

Just in case those aren’t enough warnings News 15’s Megan Woods did an experiment with Lafayette Fire Department and a few tomatoes to represent human skin. The experiment is to illustrate how powerful fireworks really are.

Alton Trahan, public information officer for Lafayette Fire Department says, “It can split the skin, it can burn you, catch your clothes on fire and that’s a concern for us as well as fires obviously because we have airborne fireworks as well. You don’t know where they’re going to land at a given time.”

Lafayette Fire Department sees it every year. If more of the community follow tips like these, hopefully they’ll make this year different.

Chief Browning says, “You never want to allow children to light these devices never want people who are impaired by alcohol for example to light these devices and finally you do one device at a time.”

In Lafayette Parish you can only light fireworks in unincorporated areas between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. On 4th of July it’s extended to 1 a.m.

If you think someone is illegally selling fireworks or any pyrotechnics, call the state fire marshal at 1-800-256-5452 or visit lasfm.org to fill out a complaint.

Here are more fireworks tips:

  •        Detonating devices at least 200 feet away from structures, vehicles and rubbish
  •        Never allowing children to light fireworks
  •        Never operating fireworks while impaired
  •        Lighting devices one at a time and monitoring embers released with a bucket of water or hose nearby
  •        Discarding detonated items by wetting them down to prevent re-ignition and not disposing of them in a trash container immediately