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Huntsville Fire & Rescue offers advice on handling and using fireworks


Huntsville City Council amended an ordinance earlier this month, allowing residents to use, sell or purchase certain fireworks in the Rocket City. These fireworks are defined as nonexplosive, nonaerial sparking devices and can be ground-based or handheld. They include cylindrical and cone fountains, illuminating torches, wheels and ground spinners. The city also allows handheld sparklers, party snaps and other novelty items thanks to an amendment passed last year.

With more possible fireworks to purchase this year, Huntsville Fire & Rescue (HFR) released a press release Wednesday offering advice for residents on firework safety and protection.

“As we approach the Fourth of July, we encourage Huntsville citizens to celebrate the holiday in a safe and responsible manner,” said Huntsville Fire Marshal Dan Wilkerson in an online statement.

Huntsville Fire Marshal Dan Wilkerson holds up examples of city-approved fireworks
City of Huntsville
Huntsville Fire Marshal Dan Wilkerson holds up examples of city-approved fireworks

If planning to use approved fireworks, Wilkerson recommends the following:

  1. Always have a water source nearby. Whether it is a bucket of water or the garden hose, Wilkerson said residents should make sure they have a water source to put out any testy or stray fireworks. Without water, they risk igniting a fire.
  2. Never point fireworks at another person or pet. According to theNational Fire Protection Association, over 9,000 injuries or burns related to fireworks mishaps are reported every year. Wilkerson said it is imperative that people point fireworks away from others, including pets, when using them at home. 
  3. Always wear nonflammable safety equipment. Wilkerson said residents should wear a pair of goggles and, if possible, cover their head, wear a thick coat or add some gloves. 
  4. Never relight a firework. Wilkerson said if a firework fails to go off correctly, Alabamians should never relight or pick up fireworks that fail. Instead, wait and then use a water source to douse the firework and dispose of it in the garbage. 
  5. Children should never be allowed to ignite or play with fireworks. The National Safety Council reports something as small as a sparkler can cause injuries to children, along with firecrackers and bottle rockets. Wilkerson said it is not worth the risk.
  6. Stay sober when using fireworks. Wilkerson said to never handle fireworks under the influence of alcohol.

Wilkerson said if anyone wishes to watch fireworks, the safest way to do so is by attending a professional fireworks show.
“Huntsville has plenty of fireworks shows that will light up the sky over the next few weeks,” Wilkerson said in a press release. “We encourage you to attend those instead of doing your own.”

There are several HFR-approved fireworks displays throughout the city. They include:

Visit Huntsville Fire & Rescue’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for more information on firework safety.

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