Barry Wiginton, owner of the fireworks stand in front of Winn Dixie in Alexander City, sells fireworks to Billy Morrow Thursday. Morrow said he plans to shoot them off over the lake on New Year’s Eve. | Alison James

Archived Story

Light up the new year – safely

Published 12:31pm Friday, December 28, 2012

Use caution while celebrating New Year’s Eve with fireworks

The bang and crackle of fireworks, along with the flashes of light and color, will fill the night sky Dec. 31 as people celebrate the beginning of a new year. But in the midst of all the cavorting and merry-making, there are a few safety rules to keep in mind.

“We have had structure fires as well as numerous wood fires started over the past few years due to fireworks,” said Captain Craig Clark, Alexander City fire marshal.

Clark recommended shooting off fireworks well away from structures and always having fire extinguishers or water close by.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the risk of fireworks injury is highest for children ages 5–14.

Clark said they continue to have problems with bottle rockets.

“You really can’t actively judge where they’re going to fall,” Clark said.

Clark also said people should not allow their children to be unsupervised around fireworks and should not handle non-discharged fireworks, which can still explode.

Although the recent rainfall, Clark said, will decrease the risk of fire, the danger is still there.

“Anything that was green is now brown,” Clark said, adding that windy days between now and New Year’s Eve will increase the risk of fire.

But armed with a few safety precautions, consumers can still enjoy their fireworks displays, with purchase and use being legal in Alexander City.

The fireworks stand in front of Winn Dixie, owned by Barry Wiginton, opened yesterday.

“People enjoy fireworks,” Wiginton said. “It’s something the kids always love, and that’s something I don’t think you can get away from – you want to make your kids happy and put on a good show.”

Wiginton said his average sale is $40–$50.

“Even in a down economy it seems to be about the average,” Wiginton said.

He said Dec. 30–31 are typically the busiest days this time of year. Wiginton’s prices range from a few dollars for bottle rockets to $20 for moderate multi-packs and up to $200 for the larger packages.

“You’ve got people on the lake who want something bigger,” Wiginton said. “We’ve got prices for everybody – whatever budget they have to spend.”

For more fireworks safety tips, visit www.nfpa.org

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