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Improperly Discarded Cigarettes are Leading Cause of Unintentional Grass Fires

June 28, 2012
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  06/29/12 The Indiana Department of Homeland Security and Indiana State Police are reminding Hoosiers that proper disposal of cigarettes and safe handling of fireworks is critical to avoid accidentally starting a fire.

“Two-thirds of Indiana’s counties have issued burn bans and numerous jurisdictions have placed restrictions on the use of fireworks because dry conditions are very favorable for fire,” said Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “Hoosiers are ultimately responsible for knowing what local fireworks restrictions are in place and are liable for any damage or injuries caused by the use of fireworks or improperly discarded lit cigarettes.”

The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office is a Division of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office has compiled a list of jurisdictions with known fireworks restrictions and burn bans. These lists are available at dhs.in.gov under “Topics of the Day.”

Throwing anything burning out of a moving vehicle is illegal and can result in a fine of up to $10,000. When tossed from a building or a moving car, cigarettes remain warm enough to quickly spark a blaze in dry grass or other vegetation.

Launching fireworks from the side of a road or off a building is also illegal. Fireworks may only be legally discharged from private property with the permission of the owner, or from public areas specifically designated for launching fireworks.

With low humidity and dry, windy conditions, small fires can quickly grow into large ones. If smoke from a nearby grass fire is inhibiting visibility on roadways, pull over and stop. Driving through these conditions is extremely dangerous as visibility can be diminished to almost zero and breathing may become difficult. Hoosiers are encouraged to report any unattended fires to 911 immediately.

For more information about fireworks safety tips and laws, visit GetPrepared.in.gov.

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