As we celebrate Independence Day, the City of Opelika wants to remind citizens to know your neighborhood’s laws about fireworks before lighting up the sky. As per city ordinance Article XVII Section 19-586 states, “It shall be unlawful for any person to use or explode any fireworks within the corporate limits.”
In the United States, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.
If you choose to use legal fireworks, be sure to follow the following safety tips:
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks. Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
- Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
- Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
- Never light them indoors
- Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person
- Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
- Never ignite devices in a container
- Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire
- Never use illegal fireworks, make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
- Do not disassemble pre-assembled fireworks, attempt to make your own fireworks, or combine fireworks products.
- Make sure your fireworks are stored correctly and according to the packaged instructions.
- Only light fireworks on flat ground, away from flammable materials, and only in a dry and fire-resistant area.
- Do not light multiple fireworks at the same time.
- Do not point fireworks at yourself or others while you light them.
- Ensure the person lighting the fireworks is equipped with safety glasses and is sober. Keep all spectators at a safe distance from fireworks that are being lit.
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby, along with a hose or bucket in case of a fire or malfunction.
- If a firework malfunctions, do not relight it. Instead, soak it in water and dispose of it.
For more information, please contact Fire Chief Byron Prather at [email protected]