Chief urges caution with holiday fireworks

Published 3:00 am Saturday, July 1, 2017

Americans across the country will observe the time-honored tradition of shooting fireworks this weekend in celebration of the country’s 241st birthday. Troy Police Chief Randall Barr wants to remind local residents though that shooting them inside city limits is unlawful and fireworks carry a variety of dangers.

“My advice in the city limits is ‘Don’t do it,’” Barr said. “It is unlawful to shoot them within the city limits.”

The Troy municipal code outlaws discharging firecrackers, torpedoes, bombs or any other explosive firework without the specific written consent of both the police chief and fire chief. It also prohibits the sale of such fireworks inside city limits, which Barr said is why any fireworks stands in the county aren’t set up in Troy.

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While the popular “sparkler” fireworks don’t fit the description of prohibited fireworks because they aren’t explosive, Barr said residents should still practice caution.

“Sparklers may be permissible, but they’re very dangerous,” Barr said. “They burn at very high temperatures and can cause very serious burns.”

From June 20 to July 20, 2014, sparklers accounted for an estimated 19 percent of the 7,000 fireworks-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. For children under 5, sparklers accounted for 61 percent of the total estimated injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

For citizens heading out of city limits to participate in shooting fireworks, Barr said there are several other safety measures to keep in mind.

“You don’t want to hold them in your hand,” Barr said. “You should set them down on the ground and get away as quickly as possible. They should never be fired toward anyone, especially at the face. And they should always be used under adult supervision.

“It wouldn’t take but a split second to lose a hand or an eye that could affect you for the rest of your life.”

Barr said the fireworks should also be set off in a clear area away from buildings or any combustible materials.

“Bottle rockets, even though they detonate in the air, can still be flammable when they hit the ground,” Barr said.”Fireworks safety must be the top priority, not only for the person setting off the fireworks but for the spectators as well.”

Those looking to watch a fireworks show this Independence Day can head to Veterans Memorial Stadium aroun 8 or 8:30 p.m. Tuesday to watch the city’s fireworks display.

The stadium is the preferred venue to watch the show, but the fireworks can also be seen around Troy and PIke County, especially from Elm Street Road and on the Troy University campus.

Citizens do not have to pay to enter the stadium and watch the show.