Officals offer tips for using fireworks safely

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Brent Hunt of Brent Hunt's Bistineau Blasters Fireworks in Sibley restocks shelves over the weekend. Hunt is a captain with the Minden Fire Department and reminds people to use fireworks with caution. Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald
Brent Hunt of Brent Hunt’s Bistineau Blasters Fireworks in Sibley restocks shelves over the weekend. Hunt is a captain with the Minden Fire Department and reminds people to use fireworks with caution. Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

Christmas has passed and New Year’s Day is just around the corner. That means fireworks will be flying off the shelves in the days to come before ringing in 2016.

Minden Fire Chief Kip Mourad is asking revelers to be mindful of surroundings and use common sense when using fireworks.

“Make sure there is an adult around when you have kids firing fireworks,” he said. “Do not light any in your hand or try to throw them from your hand. Light them on the ground.”

He reminds those shooting fireworks watch their aim and where they are before lighting the fuse.

“Make sure they are going up and not towards houses, trees or grass,” he said. “Just be careful of your surroundings, and not just for dry grass, but for people also.”

Mourad says it’s also a good idea to have a source of water or a fire extinguisher close by if anything should happen, such as if one misfires or there is a mishap.

“Have some water or a fire extinguisher handy in case you do start a fire in the grass or something,” he said.

State Fire Marshal Butch Browning Jr. says fireworks hold an inherent and significant danger if improperly handled. The Office of the Louisiana State Fire Marshal also offers some safety tips as the New Year arrives.

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks. If you are not sure what the laws are, contact the police department or the city to learn more.
  • Know your fireworks. Read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never re-light a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water before disposing of it.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trashcan away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • Report illegal explosives, such as M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

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