Officials urge firework safety over holiday

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, December 31, 2014

There are a few things you need to know before shooting off fireworks to ring in 2015.

For residents inside Troy city limits, fireworks are illegal according to Lt. Bryan Weed with Troy Police Department.

“Fireworks are illegal to sell and use within city limits,” Weed said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

But just because they’re illegal, doesn’t mean that someone won’t shoot them off inside city limits, according to Capt. Buford Stephens with Troy Fire.

“People know it is against the law to shoot fireworks within the city, but they do it anyway,” Stephens said. “We ask those who do choose to use them, whether in the city or out in the county, to use extreme safety and always have adult supervision if you’re a minor.”

Approximately one-quarter of the victims of firework injuries in past years were under the age of 15, according to Stephens.

According to Stephens, the biggest issue the fire department sees for New Year’s are sparklers, which can throw off sparks up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. Stephens also said the fire department has seen several fireworks-related structure fires.

“We’ve had several structure fires that have been started by someone shooting off fireworks and it landing on their roof,” Stephens said. “It lands on the roof and then catches debris, such as leaves in the gutter, on fire.”

Like Stephens, Weed wanted to be sure the public was aware of the extreme safety measure that needed to be taken when using fireworks. According to Stephens, three out of every five firework-related injuries in past years were to extremities such as the hand, fingers, leg, arm, shoulder or even wrist. Most of the other injuries were seen on parts of the head as well as the eye.

“They are explosives,” Weed said. “Even though most people see them as entertainment or toys, they can definitely hurt you. Never hold fireworks in your hand when lit, and follow the instruction on the fireworks.”