Volusia County Fire Rescue Warns Residents of Fireworks Safety During Pandemic.
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
As Independence Day fast approaches, the well-known American tradition of fireworks shows will be in the hands of residents this year. Handling fireworks yourself is dangerous, causing serious injuries and burns.
With public fireworks displays canceled or postponed across the county, Volusia County Fire Rescue officials are concerned that some families and neighborhoods may hold celebrations.
According to release, “We caution residents against using fireworks because they can cause fires and injuries,” said Fire Chief Howard Bailey. “With the number of COVID-19 cases on the rise in Florida, now is not the time to join in a large celebration. The coronavirus can spread even during outdoor parties.”
Officials want to remind residents that if you decide to attend a neighborhood celebration anyway, make sure you wear a mask, maintain social distancing of at least six feet, and avoid gatherings of more than 50 people.
Governor DeSantis signed a law in April that makes setting off fireworks legal on Independence Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. However, state law does not supersede local regulations. Consumer-grade fireworks are banned on Volusia County’s beaches, where they not only leave a mess, they can frighten nesting sea turtles and cause birds to abandon their nests.
Even sparklers can be dangerous, Bailey noted. They burn at temperatures of 1,200 degrees, which is as hot as a blow torch. When children hold sparklers close to their bodies, they can burn their skin or set fire to their clothes. Small children are at the highest risk of fireworks injuries.
Volusia County Fire Rescue offers these safety tips for residents who purchase consumer-grade fireworks:
Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers.
Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
Light fireworks one at a time, then move quickly away from them.
If a device does not ignite, don’t stand over it to investigate, and don’t try to relight it.
Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire.
After fireworks stop burning, douse them with water from a bucket or hose.
Finally, pick up all debris and spent fireworks.
“Please keep a watchful eye on the children as we celebrate our nation’s independence,” Bailey urged.