June 30, 2015 --
For many Americans, fireworks are a family tradition when celebrating Independence Day.
However, fireworks are prohibited in Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s family housing area, according to Base Order P11320.2F, Base Fire Prevention - Protection Regulations.
Juan Escovar, safety technician, Risk Management Office, MCLB Albany, urges those handling fireworks off base to exercise caution.
“Fireworks can be exciting, but they can also bring pain and even death if not handled properly,” Escovar said. “Don’t let a quick decision of trying to have fun become an everlasting bad memory because you did not take the proper safety precautions.”
He stressed adults should be mindful of their surroundings and keep children and pets at a safe distance from fireworks.
Escovar stressed fireworks-related injuries are preventable and “the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.”
In 2014, the National Fire Protection Association reported 55 percent of emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 38 percent were to the head.
The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children, newborn – 4-years-old, followed by children, ages 10-14, according to the website, www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/holidays/fireworks.
Escovar said this might be due to a lack of adult supervision and ownership when handling fireworks.
Fireworks have also started fires that have caused property damages, he added.
According to NFPA, more fires are reported on Independence Day in the U.S. than any other day. Fireworks are the cause of two out of five of those fires.
Escovar recommended the following safety tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:
* A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Do not give fireworks to children.
* Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
* Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trashcan away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
* Do not carry fireworks in pockets or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
* Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
* Do not attempt to relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
* Have a bucket of water and a water hose nearby.
* Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
* Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
* Read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting fireworks.
* Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
* Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
For more information, call 229-639-5625.