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Every year the same information goes about fireworks and their dangers, especially in the hot, dry Utah climate. And every year major preventable fires still erupt because of fireworks.
According to Audra Sorensen, Salt Lake City Fire Public Information, the firework safety message is one that is pivotal at this time of the year.
“It’s surprising how many residents ignore the firework restrictions and forget to follow basic firework safety tips,” Sorensen said.
“Currently in Utah, hundreds of acres are in flames – destroying the landscape, threatening wildlife, impeding infrastructure, homes and businesses, and damaging air quality. With all that, many people still don’t practice basic safety. One seemingly harmless sparkler can do a whole lot of damage.”
• July 1 – July 7, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., (until Midnight on July 4th)
• July 21 – July 27, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., (until Midnight on July 24th)
• Know where fireworks are restricted. These are listed at www.utahfireinfo.gov or slcfire.com; ( www.utahfireinfo.gov has all the information in “real-time,” so if you utilize it on July 4 — when fireworks are allowed in some areas — it will look differently than if you look up items in April, for example).
• Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
• Avoid buying fireworks in brown paper packaging. This is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays, not regular consumers
• Don’t modify fireworks or use homemade fireworks
• Light fireworks only on smooth, flat surfaces
• Aim them away from spectators, buildings, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
• Keep water and fire extinguishers close and put empties in a bucket of water
• Never lean your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse
• Move back a safe distance immediately after lighting
• Don’t try to relight fireworks that malfunction, or duds
• Don’t carry fireworks in your pocket or hold them close to your face
• Watch your kids closely, and don’t let them play with fireworks
• Call 911 if there are problems and teach your children to call 911
• Remember the “stop, drop and roll” drill, if your clothes catch fire
About the Salt Lake City Fire Department: The Salt Lake City Fire Department services about 94 square miles utilizing 14 full-time fire stations at strategic locations throughout the city. The department employs 327 sworn firefighters who provide all the first-response, emergency services in the Capital City and who provide mutual aid to other fire departments along the Wasatch Front.