Local officials: Practice fireworks safety

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 2, 2016

This weekend, law enforcement and fire department officials in Pearl River County would like to remind residents about the importance of fireworks safety.
According to a release from the Picayune Fire Department, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that about 10,500 non-occupational, fireworks related injuries were treated in the United States in 2014.
“The main thing is to stay safe and use common sense,” Picayune Fire Chief Keith Brown said.
Picayune Fire Marshal Pat Weaver said the city ordinance states that fireworks are allowed to be sold and fired between June 15 and July 5.
The city’s noise ordinance states that minimum sound levels should be observed between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m., the fire marshal said. However, for the dates of lawful celebration, there is an exemption, Weaver added.
In Poplarville, there is an ordinance banning residents from firing fireworks within the city’s limits, Poplarville Fire Chief Jonathan Head said.
“You can buy them here, but they can’t be shot within the city’s limits,” he added.
Pearl River County Sheriff Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said there is no ordinance against shooting fireworks in the county.
However, anyone shooting fireworks after the 10 p.m., when the county noise ordinance is in effect, will risk being issued a citation, Tucker said.
All city and county officials urge residents to exercise caution when handling fireworks.
The Picayune Fire Department, in a release, shared their own safety tips and those from the National Council on Fireworks safety. They include:
• Obey local fireworks laws.
• Read labels on fireworks prior to lighting them.
• During activities involving fireworks, a responsible adult must supervise.
• Do not give fireworks to children.
• Do not consume alcohol when shooting fireworks.
• Wear protective eyewear when handling fireworks.
• Only light one firework at a time.
• Shoot fireworks outdoors in an empty area away from buildings, vehicles and dry leaves or vegetation.
• Do not relight a “dud” firework. After 20 minutes, soak it in water.
• Keep a bucket of water and water hose nearby.
• Do not put fireworks in the pockets of clothing or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
• Do not attempt to use homemade fireworks.
• Proper disposal of used fireworks includes wetting them and placing them in a trashcan away from buildings and combustible materials.
• Report illegal explosives such as M-80s and quarter sticks to the fire or police department.

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