05/25/12 Many people associate fireworks with Independence Day, but Memorial Day is another holiday widely celebrated with fireworks. The Indiana Fire Marshal’s Office, a division the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) warn Hoosiers to be aware of local fireworks laws and to use care when discharging fireworks.
“More than 32,000 fires result annually from the mishandling of fireworks, and cause more than $30 million in property damage,” says Indiana Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “It’s important to pay attention and adhere to the fireworks laws in your area. Always handle fireworks with care and take precautions to avoid injuring yourself or others.”
“Fireworks are fun and festive, but a celebration can quickly turn tragic if a child is injured,” says Joan Duwve, M.D., M.P.H., medical director of Public Health and Preparedness at the ISDH.
Fireworks safety tips
- Never let children handle, play with, or light any fireworks.
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
- Use a clear, open area and keep your audience a safe distance from the shooting site.
- Do not alter any fireworks device or attempt to make your own fireworks.
- Only purchase and light 1.4G consumer fireworks. Examples include bottle rockets, roman candles and fire crackers.
- Only light one firework item at a time and never attempt to re-light or fix a “dud” firework.
- Have a fire extinguisher, water supply, hose, or bucket of water nearby.
- Be cautious when lighting fireworks when it is windy.
- Never smoke or drink alcoholic beverages while handling fireworks.
- Never aim, point, or throw fireworks at another person.
- Use fireworks outdoors, never indoors.
- Sparklers burn at extremely hot temperatures from 1200o to 1800o Fahrenheit. Glow sticks make an excellent, safer alternative to sparklers, especially for young children.
- Only individuals 18 years of age or older may purchase fireworks.
- In general, fireworks may be discharged on some holidays, including Memorial Day from 9 a.m. to midnight. On most other days of the year, fireworks may be discharged from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Know the laws for your area and obey them! Penalties are now in place for violation of Indiana’s fireworks laws.
- Check with local officials about when you can discharge fireworks, as local ordinances may further restrict usage.
- Fireworks may be discharged only on your property, the property of someone who has granted permission, or at designated discharge locations.
- Contact your local fire department if you have any questions about acceptable fireworks practices in your area.
For more information about staying safe this summer, visit GetPrepared.in.gov.