Frederick County Authorities Say Be Safe With Fireworks During Independence Day Holiday

They say it’s better to take in a public fireworks display

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Frederick, Md (KM) Every year, careless use of fireworks result in more than 18,000 fires around the country, causing about $43 million in damage; and injuring close to 13,000 people. That’s according to Frederick County’s public safety agencies which encourage you to celebrate the Independence Day holiday by taking in a public fireworks display.

But if you want to set off your own fireworks, officials say make sure consumer fireworks are not prohibited in your community;; and if they are allowed, know what kinds are legal. In Frederick County, there is only one type of pyrotechnic that’s permitted by law. “Ground based sparklers, fireworks, are acceptable to use. When I say ground based, that means that’s something not exploding in the air, popping,” says Troy Grossnickle with the County Fire Marshal’s Office.

When setting off these legal fireworks, Grossnickle says be aware of your surroundings, such as nearby homes or other structures. “Last year, we had a couple fires where fireworks were set off inside the garage,” he says. “Obviously, that caused quite a bit  damage to cars and something stored in the garage area as well.”

And beware of allowing children to play with sparklers which can reach a temperature of 1200 degrees when they’re burning. “We have seen strands of hair get caught on fire,  things like that if they’re actually touching the top part of the sparklers,” says Grossnickle.

“Making sure they know exactly where to grab when they’re using these sparklers, generally the bottom of it,” he continues.

Grossnickle also says light only one sparkler at a time, and don’t re-light a dud. “Once and done kind of thing,”: he says. “You only want to light them one time,” he says.

Fire officials says the dud could   malfunction  and explode if you try to light them again. It’s best to douse them with water and make sure they’re fully extinguished.

Another safety tips is keeping pets indoors  while fireworks are being lit. These animals can become distressed when fireworks go off, creating a loud boom and that can cause confusion. Your pets could run loose or get injured.

While setting off the fireworks, fire officials say have a fire extinguisher, a hose and/or a bucket of water nearby. After use, these fireworks are still very hot, and dousing them with water will cool them down so they can be disposed of safely.

By Kevin McManus