Dry Conditions And Fireworks Ignite Concern For Firefighters
(West Memphis) It’s that time of year when many enjoy their sparklers and more potent fireworks being sold at fireworks stands.
Seven-year-old Everett Culler’s face lights up with excitement when he talks about them. He said, “I like to run to the fireworks and light it and then run back.”
But his mom, Erica Culler, employs a bit more reasonable caution when it comes to fireworks safety.
Culler said, “He’ll help out with doing the fireworks and we just make sure the parents are around and we’ll keep our lawn nice and watered and make sure everything isn’t too dry with the hot weather.”
The hot weather and dry conditions are forcing a burn ban in Crittenden, Desoto, Fayette, and Shelby Counties in the Mid-South.
West Memphis Fire Department Lieutenant Jeff Jones says West Memphis doesn’t have a ban on fireworks, but they are aware of the potential dangers, especially this summer.
Jones said, “We respond to many calls of kids getting burned, the fireworks popping and blowing up on their face, things like that, but this year, particularly, we are concerned with the fire because of the dry spell we’re in.”
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, each year there are more than 30,000 fires and 9,500 injuries that occur as a result of the use of fireworks and that concerns Pamela Horton.
Horton said, “That’s a concern of mine with the grand babies. I try to make sure they stay out-of-the-way and if they do light something they’re far from it.”
Dale Wilson is president of American Fireworks Company. He says his employees encourage customers to play it safe. Wilson said, “Absolutely, we want them to use fireworks under adult supervision, first. Don’t hold the fireworks in your hand. We’d like to have a garden hose nearby. We’d like to have a bucket of water and we want to use common sense.”
The United States Fire Administration also recommends that you make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them. Remember, there are penalties for violations.