Fireworks safety urged during New Year celebrations
The use of fireworks have been as much a part of traditional New Year celebrations as parties, the countdown to midnight and January 1 hangovers. However, while people across Acadia Parish — and the country for that matter — enjoy seeing the beautiful displays that coincide with the ringing in of the next year, fireworks are, nonetheless, flammable, explosive devices which can cause injuries and damage to property.
Inside the Crowley city limits, their use is strictly forbidden.
“We want everyone to have a good time but we also want to start the new year off in a safe way,” said Crowley Chief of Police K.P. Gibson. “Fireworks can also be a nuisance to your neighbors and can be a fire hazard.
“All we ask is that you be neighborly,” Chief Gibson added. “If you choose to use them please do so outside the city limits and make sure you have permission from the property owner to do so.”
The Louisiana State Fire Marshal also issued the following tips:
• Always read and follow the label directions carefully
• Always have a garden hose or water bucket nearby for medical emergencies and/or to douse spent or misfired fireworks.
• Adults should always supervise fireworks activity.
• Fireworks should be placed on a hard, smooth surface prior to ignition. NEVER light fireworks in your hand.
• Quickly light one firework at a time, and move away quickly after lighting.
• Never point or throw fireworks at people, pets, cars, or buildings
• Keep fireworks away from small children.
• Do not alter or make your own fireworks.
• After displays, never pick up fireworks that may be left over.
In recent years, fireworks have been one of the leading causes of injuries serious enough to require hospital emergency room treatment. Fireworks can result in severe burns, fractures, scars, lifelong disfigurement or even death.
The thousands of serious injuries each year typically harm the eyes, head, or hands and are mostly reported in states, such as Louisiana, where fireworks are legal. Even sparklers, which are considered by many to be harmless, can reach temperatures in excess of 1,200 degrees.
There are safer alternatives to using fireworks this holiday season, if the public wants an alternative. Public firework displays are one of those alternatives. These are conducted by trained and licensed professionals. They are the smartest and safest fireworks alternative for everyone.
They are established under controlled settings and regulations. Clearly, fireworks are capable of devastating and fatal injuries.