Safety brief; firework protection a priority

3 Jul 2014 | Lance Cpl. Jared Lingafelt

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 200 people are hospitalized each year on the Fourth of July due to firework related injuries.

With Independence Day right around the corner and a fun weekend in mind, safety must still be a priority.

Practicing safe firework handling and execution can be the difference from enjoying a patriotic holiday while grilling in the yard with family, or being in the hospital.

“When lighting fireworks, people need to make sure that it is on flat ground and aimed in a safe direction,” said Derrick Mangas, a safety specialist with Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Base Safety. “Ensure children and family members are at a safe distance away from the fireworks before the fireworks are light.”

Simple steps like these can keep families safe during the exciting weekend, according to Mangas.

Other steps can be taken to ensure firework handling is safe, but still have fun including having an adult closely monitor the lighting process and lighting fireworks one at a time then move away quickly.

Participants are also encouraged to have a fire extinguisher close by in case of a fire emergency.

“The firework demonstrations on base are conducted by licensed and trained professionals,” said Glenn Zurek, the deputy fire chief of Camp Lejeune Fire and Emergency Services. “Read and follow the directions and manufacturer’s recommendations. When choosing a lighter look for lighters with an extended tip to keep the person as far away from the firework as possible. If a firework does not go off, let it sit 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in water.”

Although fireworks are not permitted on base, according to North Carolina General Statue 14-414, fireworks legal in the state of North Carolina include: explosive caps designed to be fitted in toy pistols less than .25 gram per cap, snake and glow worms, smoke devices consisting of a tube or sphere containing a pyrotechnic mixture that produces white or colored smoke and trick noise makers such as snappers, drop pops and wire sparklers.

Patrons can gather at the W.P.T. Hill Field at 9:30 p.m. for a Fourth of July firework celebration. Onslow County Freedom festival will hold its firework show at Onslow Pines Park July 4th scheduled at 9 p.m.

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