State fire marshal reminds Kentuckians to ‘proceed with caution’ this Independence Day

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Pay attention to local ordinances

 FRANKFORT – Kentuckians are encouraged to attend a community celebration this Fourth of July holiday.

Kentucky State Fire Marshal Bill Swope advises families to let the professionals entertain you.

“Setting off fireworks at home runs the risk of injury and may also run the risk of violating local ordinances and state law,” Swope said. “Citizens should be aware of potential prohibitions against celebrating with fireworks as local governments can set their own fireworks ban.”

If you insist on celebrating at home, Swope says that safety and supervision are keys to a successful, injury-free celebration.

Recommended safety tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety follow:

- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.

- Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.

- A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.

- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.

- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.

- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.

- Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.

- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.

- Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.

- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.

- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.

- Federal Aviation Administration regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.

- Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

- According to state law, people under 18 cannot sell fireworks unless supervised by a parent or guardian, people under 18 cannot purchase fireworks, fireworks cannot be used within 200 feet of a structure, vehicle or other person; and fireworks cannot be sold to anyone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

- In addition, local vendors and citizens are required to comply with any and all local ordinances that apply to the sale, purchase and use of fireworks.