Gainesville Fire Rescue offers Fourth of July safety tips

Children lighting fireworks.
Photo by Daniel Gregoire/Unsplash

Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR) is offering valuable information and safety tips for this Independence Day.

According to a GFR release sent on Wednesday, there have been four fireworks-related calls in the last 12 months that included an explosion and accidental fires in the area. Fireworks can be an extremely dangerous activity, especially when not used properly or under the right circumstances.

Every year, thousands of people, most often teens and children, are injured due to consumer fireworks. The 2022 statistics show that fireworks caused 3,504 structure fires and tens of millions of dollars in direct property damage. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the same year about 10,200 people went to hospital emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries and at least eleven people died.

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GFR urges our community to go to professional fireworks displays rather than attempting them on their own. For people who set off their own fireworks, be sure to follow safety precautions and help avoid the risks involved.

Here are fireworks safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
  • Use sparklers and other legal novelties on a flat, hard surface. Do not light them on grass. 
  • Use sparklers in an open area. Keep children and pets at least 30 feet away. 
  • Light only one item at a time and never attempt to re-light a “dud.” 
  • Do not use any unwrapped items or items that may have been tampered with. 
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or water hose on-hand for emergencies. It is a good idea to drop used sparklers in a bucket of water. 
  • Only purchase fireworks from licensed vendors. 
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. 

For more safety tips, visit GFR on Facebook and Twitter or reach out to Assistant Chief Stephen Hesson at 352-318-5982.

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