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Clanton fireworks law often ignored

For many Americans, fireworks are a Fourth of July tradition, capping off a day of celebrating independence.

Many people like to create their own fireworks show, but if you live in Clanton, you might want to think twice before launching that skyrocket from your backyard.

According to Clanton Chief of Police Brian Stilwell, there is a city ordinance prohibiting the shooting of fireworks within the city limits unless a permit has been issued.

Although people are not supposed to shoot fireworks in the city limits, many still do.

Stilwell said he anticipates dozens of calls complaining about fireworks this holiday weekend.

“We’ll have to address the issues as they come in,” Stilwell said. “We do have a grant from [Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs] to have extra officers out over the Fourth of July weekend.”

Stilwell said he encourages people to attend the annual fireworks show put on by the city instead of shooting their own fireworks.

For those using fireworks outside the city limits, Clanton Fire Chief David Driver offered tips to help keep your holiday disaster free.

“You don’t want children to use them,” Driver said. “Always have adult supervision.”

Lee Gunn, Thorsby fire chief, agreed.

“Never let your children shoot any fireworks,” Gunn said.

People should avoid shooting fireworks in the direction of houses or open fields to prevent accidental fires.

Small fires are often started when people discard used fireworks that are still burning.

Driver suggested putting used fireworks in a bucket of water, as throwing them in a garbage can could result in a flaming garbage can.

Gunn also advocated having water handy.

“Make sure you have a garden hose for spot fires,” Gunn said.

But fires are not the only hazard associated with fireworks. Thousands of people seek treatment each year for fireworks-related injuries.

Burns are the most common type of injury.

“Never hold the fireworks in your hands while shooting them,” Gunn said.

Gunn also suggested wearing ear protection when shooting off fireworks.