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Officials urge extreme caution when using fireworks this season

Ask Kentuckians to pay attention to local ordinances

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 3, 2013) – The Kentucky Division of Fire Prevention and the Kentucky fire marshal encourage Kentuckians to attend community celebrations instead of celebrating with fireworks at home.

fireworks“Setting off fireworks at home runs the risk of injury and may also run the risk of violating local ordinances and state law,” said state fire marshal Bill Swope. “I recommend that families attend local firework displays instead of celebrating with fireworks at home. Let the professionals entertain your family,” he said.

“Citizens also should be aware of potential prohibitions against celebrating with fireworks as local governments can set their own fireworks bans,” he added.

But if you insist on celebrating at home, Swope said safety and supervision are keys to a successful celebration.

He offers the following safety tips to keep your family safe over the upcoming July 4th holiday and throughout the summer:

♦ Use fireworks outdoors only.

♦ Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.

♦ Always have a bucket of water or a working water hose nearby.

♦ Only use fireworks as intended. Don’t try to alter them or combine them.

♦ Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

♦ Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.

♦ Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a “designated adult shooter.”

♦ Do not use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives: They can kill you!

♦ Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community. Fireworks for sale to the public are clearly marked as 1.4 fireworks.

According to state law, people under 18 cannot sell fireworks unless supervised by a parent or guardian; people under 18 cannot purchase fireworks; fireworks cannot be used within 200 feet of a structure, vehicle or other person; and fireworks cannot be sold to anyone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

In addition, local vendors and citizens are required to comply with any and all local ordinances that apply to the sale, purchase and use of fireworks.

Information about firework safety and the sale of fireworks in Kentucky can be found at dhbc.ky.gov/sfm/Pages/Fireworks.aspx.