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Fireworks are fun if safety rules are followed

New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate, but residents planning to ring in the New Year with fireworks need to take some precautions into mind.

The first thing to keep in mind when handling fireworks is that they need to be handled properly. Fireworks aren’t any fun if they go off in someone’s hand or face.

“It’s not fun if someone gets hurt,” said Troy Police Chief Randall Barr. “Fireworks can easily injure your hands or eyes if not properly handled.” Barr advised that adults should always supervise children around fireworks.

Troy residents will also have to find somewhere outside city limits if they’re planning on shooting fireworks, as it is against city law to shoot fireworks in its perimeter.

Troy Fire Chief Buford Stephens has some safety tips for those celebrating around Pike County.

“You need to have parental guidance. Don’t let minors have possession of them,” Stephens said. “The main thing to remember is that they’re dangerous, so be careful when using them.”

Although the statewide burn ban was lifted after heavy rains fell earlier this month, Stephens said that residents should also remember that the area is still under drought conditions and to take extra care the fireworks don’t start a fire in the grass or trees.

Other firework safety tips include:

• Always purchase high quality fireworks from reliable sources.

• Follow the instructions carefully and use common sense.

• Do not fire fireworks in glass or metal containers and do not experiment with homemade fireworks

• Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

* Never hold fireworks in your hand. Place them on the ground. Roman candles are often mishandled this way. Sparklers are an exception, but parents may want to consider modifying a plastic cup into a “sparkler shield” for younger children.

• Use fireworks outdoors only in a clear area away from houses and buildings.

• Light only one item at a time and move back quickly once the fuse is ignited. Keep all other fireworks a safe distance away from where they are being discharged.

Residents with any questions or concerns can call the Troy fire department at 334-566-5943 for non-emergency calls. If you have an emergency, dial 911.