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Fire marshal asks residents to be safe with fireworks

Snap, crackles and pops are bound to be heard over the next few weekends as families start their Fourth of July celebrations. This year, the weather has been wetter, and there are no restrictions on the fireworks that people choose.

State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk said that this year has had better weather than last year so there haven’t been any additional restrictions made.

“Even with the better weather it is important for people to realize that we are still having very hot days and that means that things can still catch on fire,” Paulk said. “If you are going to be shooting fireworks make sure that you pay attention to where you are located.”

Paulk also warned people to purchase their fireworks from a licensed seller. If someone was to purchase fireworks from anyone other than a licensed seller they could be risking their life. It is easy for someone to add ingredients or tamper with the fuses on fireworks before reselling them. “Accidents can happen when you are using fireworks for entertainment, so it is best to try and make sure that you do everything that you can beforehand to prevent accidents from happening,” Paulk said.

To help cut down on accidents, Paulk gave a list of things you can do to prevent anything catching fire or accidentally shooting a loved one or friend.

The first step that should be taken is, choose the area you plan to hold your Fourth of July activities. If this area is dry and you are planning on shooting fireworks, wet the area to keep it from catching on fire.

Step number two is to follow normal campfire rules and regulations; place a border around all open fires and make sure that all grills are on supports and are away from flammable materials.

The last rule of thumb is to make sure children don’t shoot or play with the fireworks.

“Fireworks are dangerous and should be handled by adults,” Paulk said. “Fireworks are supposed to be used as pleasurable entertainment, and the only way that they can be fully pleasurable is when the user is safe.”