ACFD: Practice safety when using fireworksPublished 1:16pm Wednesday, June 27, 2012
By A.J. Watson, Outlook Staff Writer
With Independence Day comes hotdogs, American flags, firework shows and Will Smith movies – but instead of fighting space invaders, the Alexander City Fire Department wants to encourage residents to fight careless mistakes.
“It’s going to be very dry this year – it will be a wait-and-see game whether or not the state chooses to suspend fireworks,” Fire Chief Kem Jones said.
While shooting fireworks in the city is perfectly legal, ACFD officials said that residents shouldn’t kick back their safety habits along with their feet.
“They need to make sure where they’re shooting isn’t near their homes or anything flammable,” Jones said. “A child being injured is just not worth a fireworks display … adult supervision and responsibility goes a long way.”
According to National Fire Prevention Association’s website, nfpa.org, more than twice the number of fires are reported on the Fourth of July than any other day.
Capt. Craig Clark and Capt. Reese McAlister of the ACFD said to “never take sparklers for granted” and for good reason.
According to nfpa.org, wood burns at 575 degrees Fahrenheit, glass melts at 900 degrees Fahrenheit and sparklers top the list at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit – which can lead to serious accidents and forest fires.
“We often have some brush fires, and we’ve had a house fire or two in the past due to fireworks,” Jones said. “Safety is the main concern … fireworks can easily injure people in various different ways.”
While small fires can be put out with no help from the fire department, Jones said that “anytime they realize the fire has gotten out of hand” is when residents should alert emergency services.
“It is Fourth of July week. It is going to be hot, and we want people to not only be very careful with fireworks but be careful on the water and enjoy themselves,” Jones said. “This is a great community.”