Local fire inspector stresses importance of firework safety


ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Fourth of July is quickly approaching, and the celebrations will be loud.

But fire officials want you to take precautions if you’re setting off your own.

“You want to make sure you’re in an open area, free of combustible materials, flammable materials that could be ignited by the fireworks, you want to make sure you keep any spectators back of the fireworks you’re lighting, and obviously you want to have some type of water source or a garden hose there in case there is a small fire,” says Adam Free, Fire Inspector for the Altoona Fire Department.

According to the International Association of Fire Fighters, fireworks injure more than 10,000 people annually in the United States and Canada.

Fire inspector Adam Free says its important to check with city officials to ensure you are following regulations regarding fireworks.

“You’re not allowed to ignite fireworks between the hours of 11 pm and 8 am, and you’re not allowed to light them on any streets, sidewalks, or city owned property,” Free adds.

And he adds to be more cautious with children handling sparklers.

“Sparklers can reach 2,000 degrees, so anytime they would touch your skin or clothes it can cause significant burns to you so make sure children are closely supervised if they are using sparklers.

Free also says the best way to handle fireworks after they are extinguished is putting them in a bucket of water.

“Display fireworks” are illegal for residents without a professional permit, and anyone caught igniting illegal fireworks could be fined or face felony charges.

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