BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Christmas and New Year's retail fireworks season ends on January 1st, but State Fire Marshall "Butch" Browning says that the improper use of fireworks can quickly lead to tragedy.
In a statement, Browning says that some types of fireworks are illegal, and that if you see them on firework store shelves, you should report them to the Fire Marshall's office.
These firework types include:
- Loose or unpackaged fireworks with no label
- Tubular salutes (M80)
- Cherry Bombs
- Any Class “B” fireworks
- Sky Lanterns
The Fire Marshall is offering the following safety suggestions to those who do plan to purchase and use fireworks during the upcoming holiday:
- 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.
- Fireworks that have been ignited but do not discharge may still be active.
According to the State Fire Marshall, in recent years, fireworks have been one of the leading causes of serious injuries needing emergency room treatment. The misuse of fireworks can result in severe burns, fractures, scars, lifelong impairment or even death.
Browning also adds that a substantial portion of property loss is due to fireworks landing on rooftops, retaining enough heat to cause a fire. Louisiana fire departments report 33 fires that have been caused by fireworks so far this year.