The tents are going up in parking lots all over town. “Buy 2 Get One Free,” “Cheapest Price In Town,” the signs read trying to draw you in.
Yes, it’s that time of year to celebrate the birth of our country, 4th of July. Traditionally, the celebration always includes fireworks and who doesn’t enjoy a good fireworks show?
But a good fireworks show can turn into a trip to the hospital or a call to the Fire Department in an instant and ruin that good time.
Don’t let your celebration be ruined with the careless use of fireworks. The Fort Bragg Fire Prevention Office has some advice for all those gotta-have-my-own-fireworks-show-in-the- backyard people.
Let’s start right here on Fort Bragg. Did you know you are not even allowed to have fireworks on the post? That’s right. Fireworks are prohibited on Fort Bragg except for commercial displays that are authorized by the Fort Bragg Garrison commander and shall be in total compliance with National Fire Protection Association directives.
You could be held financially liable for any loss or damage to government property caused by such use.
What if you live off post? North Carolina General Statute 14-410 and 14-414 permits sparklers, fountains and smoke devices, but prohibits explosive or aerial fireworks, Roman candles, and rockets or similar devices. Simply stated — if it goes in the air or explodes, it’s illegal.
So, if you were thinking about stopping at one of those stands, or the place just south of us, and purchase some fireworks that are legal to use in North Carolina, consider these statistics before you do.
According to the NFPA and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 17,800 fires were caused by fireworks in 2011. There were an estimated 9,600 injuries directly related to fireworks. Legal fireworks, such as sparklers, roman candles (which are legal in some states) and fountains accounted for 34 percent of these injuries.
The tip of a sparkler reaches over 1,200 degrees which is hot enough to cause third degree burns. Everyone wants to hand a young child a sparkler, but of the 9,600 injuries, 1 in 4 people injured were under the age of 15.
How can you have a safe Fourth of July and still enjoy some fireworks?
The Fort Bragg Fire and Emergency Services Division takes the same stance as NFPA and strongly recommend leaving the fireworks shows to the professionals who will provide a better show than any fireworks you could purchase.
Have a safe Fourth of July celebration.
For more information on this or any other fire prevention topic, contact the Fort Bragg Fire Prevention office, 432-6727 or visit their web site at www.bragg.army.mil/directorates/DES/FireEmergencyServices/Pages/FirePrevention.aspx.