Firework safety crucial as Fourth of July nears

    Fireworks are synonymous with Fourth of July celebrations.  As the upcoming holiday nears, the Nebraska State Fire Marshal (SFM) urges Nebraskans to use caution when lighting fireworks in their communities.
    Officials remind Nebraskans that fireworks can be very dangerous, causing serious burns, eye injuries and in some cases death. Emergency rooms across the state reported a total of 192 firework related injuries in 2017.  
     “Fire Marshal staff spends countless hours every year working to ensure firework stands and display operators comply with regulations to keep fireworks as safe and enjoyable as possible,” said Doug Hohbein, Assistant State Fire Marshal.
     The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend public displays conducted by trained professionals. However, for those planning to ignite fireworks themselves, the following tips will help keep them safe:
    Keep children away from fireworks.
    Do not alter fireworks in any way (this creates an explosive device, which could result in a class IV felony charge).
    Have a fire extinguisher, bucket of water or garden hose available in case of fire.
    Light fireworks one at a time, on the ground, in a fire-resistant area.
    Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
    Soak used fireworks in water before placing them in a waste bin.
    Ensure fireworks are legal in your area before purchasing and using them.
     Only responsible and sober adults should handle fireworks.
    Before lighting any fireworks, Hohbein said residents should know their city regulations and local ordinances.
    Any illegal use of fireworks should be reported to the State Fire Marshal Agency or the local law enforcement entity, he said.

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