SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Fireworks Have Become a Way to Celebrate During the July 4th Holidays
It's Our Responsibility to Celebrate Safely


July 02, 2008

Ketchikan, Alaska - With the excitement of loud rumbling explosions and beautifully colored sparks flying through the air, people often forget that fireworks may contain dangerous chemicals and combustibles that can destroy property and injure people. Alaska State Fire Marshal David Tyler reminds Alaskans that fireworks can cause severe injuries or even death if not used properly. Tyler also reminds Alaskans that fireworks can cause fires that might get out of hand, destroying homes and wild lands.

"The safest way to enjoy fireworks is by attending a public fireworks display," said Tyler. As reported by the American Pyrotechnics Association, some states ban the use of fireworks by consumers, while other states permit some or all consumer fireworks. The Alaska Office of State Fire Marshal along with the National Association of State Fire Marshals and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission join in advising you to observe applicable local and state laws.

Title 27 of Ketchikan Gateway Borough's Code of Ordinances describes the conditions under which fireworks are allowed in the Ketchikan borough. The sale and possession of firewords are prohibited and the code describes the penalty for violations.

If the law allows you to shoot your own fireworks in your area, pay particular attention to the following safety tips to help reduce the chances of a destructive fire and/or injury:

  • Only purchase fireworks from a licensed dealer that sells certified fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging, as this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional shows and could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Never allow young children to play with fireworks.
  • Adults should always supervise fireworks activities. Parents often don't realize that sparklers have caused more injuries to children under age five than any other type of firework. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework device when lighting the fuse. Move back a safe distance immediately after lighting.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned. Douse and soak with water and throw them away.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light one item at a time, and then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • Avoid the combination of alcohol, drugs and fireworks.

State Fire Marshal David Tyler encourages participants to enjoy the July 4th celebration safely and remember to practice fire safety every day. Plan your escape, install and maintain smoke alarms, and install fire sprinklers. The life they save may be yours said Tyler.


Related Information:

Title 27 Fireworks - Ketchikan Gateway Borough's Code of Ordinances


Source of News:

Alaska Department of Public Safety
State Fire Marshal's Office

Ketchikan Gateway Borough - Code of Ordinances


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Ketchikan, Alaska