HFD gives fireworks tips for Independence Day

Published On: Jul 02 2013 12:00:00 AM HST
HONOLULU -

The Honolulu Fire Department would like the public to enjoy the Independence Day holiday and asks that people understand the dangers of fireworks.

Improper use of fireworks can cause severe injuries and presents a significant risk of starting fires.  The HFD also reminds the public that only firecrackers can be used on Oahu.   All other fireworks are illegal for consumer use in Honolulu.

“We hope that people will respect Honolulu’s fireworks ordinance and the dangers of firecrackers,” said Fire Chief Manuel Neves.

A little over 9,600 people suffered fireworks-related injuries and were treated in emergency rooms in 2011 and approximately 2,500 of those injured were children under 15 years of age, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

In Hawaii, the Injury Prevention Program of the Hawaii State Department of Health reported that in 2011 there were no fireworks-related injuries reported from hospitals on Oahu. The DOH noted that there was an annual average of 17 such injuries on Oahu during the preceding 8 year-period (2003-2010), with a high of 37 injuries in 2005.

The HFD believes the report of no injuries on Oahu in 2011 coincides with changes to the sale and use of consumer fireworks that became effective on January 2, 2011.

“The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the public displays conducted by trained professionals on Oahu,” Neves added. “If you use firecrackers, please review these safety tips, follow rules, and be considerate of your neighbors.”

The following information is provided to help the public remain safe and enjoy the Independence Day holiday:

Fireworks Safety Tips

  • Use only approved fireworks from a licensed retail outlet that posts its retail license.
  • Always read and follow warnings and instructions listed by the manufacturer to ensure the safe handling and use of fireworks.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at a person, building, or animal.
  • Never ignite fireworks indoors.  Ensure your outdoor area is safe for fireworks use.
  • Fireworks should only be lighted on a smooth, flat surface away from buildings, dry vegetation, and flammable materials.
  • Do not string fireworks on utility poles.
  • Keep any type of ladder, pole, or tie lines used to set up fireworks at least 10 feet away from power lines.
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • Have a garden hose or a bucket of water ready in the event of a fire.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
  • Always wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
  • When lighting fireworks, never position any part of your body over them.
  • Never attempt to relight malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Never experiment with homemade fireworks.  They are dangerous and illegal.

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