What to do before launching a New Year’s light show

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Now that Christmas Day has passed, local children are still home from school and have turned their attention to fireworks stands popping up around town.

With less than a week until New Year’s Eve, remember to be safe and cautious with such fun, but dangerous, explosives.

It’s important to read the labels and instructions before igniting, even if you bought the same product last year.

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Children should never launch fireworks on their own; adult supervision is so important to prevent accidents.

However, adults sometimes need supervision, too. Make sure whoever is igniting the fuse hasn’t had too much to drink and is cognitive of what they are doing.

It’s best to save adult beverages until after the light show is complete.

The county had some rain recently, but be careful of dry areas when using these flammable objects.

Make sure you are away from buildings, vehicles and dry grass or limbs.

Keep a hose or a bucket of water nearby just in case.

When it’s finally time to launch a firework, be sure the path is clear of bystanders and anything else that could be damaged.

Having a Roman candle battle in the street is never a good idea.

Fireworks that turn out to be duds shouldn’t be reignited; the National Council on Fireworks Safety recommends waiting 20 minutes and then soaking the firework in a bucket of water.    

Used fireworks should also be disposed of by wetting them down and placing them in a metal trashcan away from buildings and other flammable material.

It is also recommend to wear safety goggles in case of falling debris.

Experimenting with homemade fireworks is highly discouraged, and when buying fireworks from a store, do some research to make sure you purchase a safe and reputable brand.

Be mindful of city ordinances before starting your backyard light show.

Picayune ordinances allow for the use of fireworks within city limits from June 15 to July 5, and Dec. 5 to Jan. 2. 

Any other time of year, fireworks must be launched outside of city limits.

That means any leftover fireworks you didn’t use on New Year’s Eve should be used quickly.

Have fun this New Year’s Eve and use these safety tips to ensure it’s a holiday without a visit to the emergency room.