New Years firework safety tips

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A lot of folks will start the New Year off with a bang, and the Fire Marshal’s office has some safety tips for you before you attempt your amateur pyrotechnics.

Spokeswoman Ashley Rodrigue’s first piece of advice for people buying fireworks is: don’t. Instead of risking it in your back yard, go to a public display.

“There are a lot of municipalities that put a lot of money and effort into those firework displays. They’re safe for your family, they’re professional, and they’re an all-around great time to be around,” Rodrigue advises.

But if you are going to be purchasing fireworks, make sure you check to see if fireworks are legal in your area.  If they are, Rodrigue says make sure you’re buying from a licensed vendor.

“If you are coming across someone who is selling fireworks out of a trunk, that is not going to be a legal operation, and we would advise you not only to not purchase from them but to let our office know,” Rodrigue said.  

Rodrigue says a good rule of thumb is, if you don’t see any fireworks sellers in your area, it’s likely because fireworks are illegal in your jurisdiction.

Once you’ve acquired your certified fireworks from a legal vendor, make sure you find an open space in a legal area to fire them off in.

“Detonate devices at least 200 feet away from structures, vehicles, and rubbish, because you never know where some of the embers or rubbish may come down, and never allow children to light fireworks,” says Rodrigue.

After the fireworks go off, spray them with a hose, and put them in a disposal bin, where they can be stored away from your home until they are picked up.