Chiefs: Firework safety imperative this Fourth of July

Published 4:03 pm Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fireworks are one of the hallmarks of Independence Day. Every year, across the country, hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on pyrotechnics. With all those fireworks comes the risk of injury and damage to property.

The state of Alabama recently passed a ban on all forms of outdoor burning but excluded fireworks from the list. While fireworks haven’t been banned, local officials stressed the importance of following guidelines provided by firework companies to keep from injury.

“As far as keeping safe, the best thing you can do is go by the manufacturer’s recommendations,” said Clanton Fire Chief David Driver.

Driver also recommended having water handy in order to quickly extinguish fires if they do start.

“I suggest keeping a garden hose with you,” he said. “That way, if fireworks land on something dry, they can be put out relatively easy.”

In addition, Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell encouraged those who choose to shoot fireworks to keep their neighbors in mind.

“We’ll address complaints as they come in on a case-by-case basis,” he said. “Don’t shoot from a moving vehicle, don’t shoot at moving vehicles, and don’t shoot at houses. If it’s 1:30 in the morning and people are shooting and disturbing neighbors, we might have to visit.”

Stilwell also said that instead of buying fireworks, people can save their money and attend the city fireworks show for free.

“I really encourage people to come out to the city’s event,” he said. “Some people bring their own and shoot them before it and after, so it’s kind of like a show on top of a show.”

The city of Clanton fireworks show will take place Monday, July 4 at 9 p.m. in City Park.