On Wednesday, June 24, 2009, fire officials from the Washington Metropolitan Region conducted a fireworks safety news conference and safety demonstration at the George Washington Masonic Temple in Alexandria, Virginia.
The Washington Field office of the ATF detonated an M-80 to show the dangers of illegal fireworks. The event provided the media an opportunity to view legal and illegal fireworks, and fire marshals were on hand to address the dangers associated with the use of illegal fireworks and to show how fireworks are mishandled and improperly used.
Many fireworks are not available in the Washington-Metro area because they are illegal. Firecrackers, cherry bombs, and skyrockets are just a few examples of fireworks which may be purchased in other areas but are illegal in most of the region.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the many public displays. But if fireworks are legal in your area, and you wish to use them, below are some safety guidelines to follow:
- Always read all warnings and instructions
- Only approved fireworks may be discharged.
- Do not permit young children to handle or light fireworks. (Sparklers can reach a temperature of 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.)
- When igniting fireworks, place them on a flat surface, clear of any combustible material and clear of all buildings.
- Never ignite fireworks while holding them.
- Keep a bucket of water or a hose handy in case of a malfunction or fire.
- Never try to relight fireworks that have not functioned properly.
- The safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries is to leave the fireworks displays to the professionals.
The theme for this year fireworks demonstration was “Leave the Fireworks to the Professionals!”
For more information, call Captain Luis Santano,
Alexandria Fire Department, 703-838-4339