Fireworks safety should be a priority

Published 6:39 pm Friday, June 29, 2018

Everyone loves to celebrate the Fourth of July, but those celebrations can go from fun to dangerous quickly, so it’s important to remember how to be safe on Independence Day.

The Vicksburg Fire Department has to deal with unplanned fires and injuries on July 4 and July 5, so Fire Chief Craig Danczyk stressed using common sense, and mentioned the Independence Day Amazing Fireworks show at 9 p.m. in downtown Vicksburg, which will also feature Doctor Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster playing from 7-9 p.m. at the Depot Stage at 1010 Levee St.

“The city provides a spectacular fireworks show on the Fourth of July,” Danczyk said. “The city is very proud of the show they have.”

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Danczyk said the show would be even bigger than last year.

“We do have a very nice fireworks display, and I encourage people to come watch that show, and that’s a very safe way to observe fireworks,” Danczyk said. “It’s a free show to the public. Just bring you lawn chairs and find a nice spot in downtown Vicksburg, enjoy the show.”

Danczyk recommended keeping pets at home for the event.

“You don’t know how they’re going to react to the sounds of the fireworks,” Danczyk said. “Keep the pets in mind, the best thing to do is bring the pets inside and keep them in a safe area where they are less likely to be scared or threatened.”

Other than the city hosted event, shooting fireworks is not allowed within the city limits, and Sheriff Martin Pace stressed that anyone who chooses to shoot them outside the city limits still needs to use caution.

“Use fireworks reasonably, and even though there is no county ordinance prohibiting the fireworks, there are disturbance of the peace laws that would apply if you’re shooting fireworks late at night where it disturbs the neighbors,” Pace said.

Danczyk also had advice for how to be safe on the Fourth of July, mentioning that there should always be adult supervision and children should not handle fireworks. Whatever fireworks you decided to use, he added that you should always follow the warning labels on the fireworks, and only use them in clear areas.

“Always have a bucket of water,” Danczyk added.

“If you have a dead firework, don’t try to relight it, back away from it as soon as it’s fixing to go off. After 20 minutes, if it doesn’t pop, put it in a bucket of water and dispose of it.”

Danczyk also said not to modify fireworks or use homemade ones.

“Don’t bundle fireworks together, because things can happen that could be catastrophic,” Danczyk said. “We’ve seen injuries where people have injuries to the hand, to the face, even burns.”

Danczyk also stressed not to drink and use fireworks, and to be wary of where people shoot and aim fireworks.

“We have a lot of grass fires from the day after and people shoot off the rest of their fireworks,” Danczyk said. “Sometimes it leads to property damage or injuries.”

Pace also said to not drink-and-drive, and to never use a firearm for celebration.

“Firing a projectile into the air could easily cause injury or death when that bullet falls if it struck a vehicle or a person, or it could even go through a house,” Pace said. “It’s not only incredibly dangerous, it’s illegal.”

All fire stations will be active on the fourth and the fifth.

“If we have to respond to an emergency we will, but we wish everybody a safe Fourth of July, and encourage everyone to come down and enjoy the fireworks show the city of Vicksburg will be sponsoring,” Danczyck said.

“To me, the number one option is to come downtown, enjoy the free show and bring the family. While you’re downtown, enjoy the live music and enjoy everything else the downtown area has to offer.”