ALBANY, N.Y. (NEXSTAR) — On Independence Day, officials ask that you leave the fireworks to the professionals, but if you’re going to set one off on your own, the New York State Firemen’s Association talks about how to handle them safely.
“When it comes to fireworks, firefighters say to leave it to the pros,” FASNY Secretary John D’Alessandro said. “The most important tip I can give people is go and see a professional fireworks show. Don’t be shooting off fireworks on your own.”
D’Alessandro said sparklers and ground-based fireworks aren’t as harmless as they seem.
“They’re not. Every year, they cause hundreds of thousands of dollars of property damage, bodily injury, and increase stress and strain on the fire departments to have to respond to those calls.”
He says if you are planning to use ground-based fireworks, to make sure you dispose of them properly.
“Once the sparkler is done burning, make sure you just don’t throw it away,” he advised. “Keep an eye on the kids, especially little ones. They have a tendency when it’s all said and done to throw it in the grass or throw it in the woods.”
And, keep a pail of water handy.
“Put them in the pail of water, dispose of any ashes or remnants of the fireworks properly in a metal can,” D’Alessandro said. “We always see situations where people throw them in the garbage pail, and then a couple hours later we’re going because there’s a structure fire because the garbage pail was up against the house. Or they throw them in the bed of a pickup truck. And then a few hours later the car is on fire.”
He says using common sense can save lives.