BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Officials warn of some safety precautions and tips to help protect yourself and others during the New Year celebrations.
“We expect that people are going to be out shooting guns and fireworks,” says L’Jean McKneely, Baton Rouge Police Public Information Officer.
Firework sales have officially started for the new year celebrations, potentially causing multiple issues, especially with guns.
“People have gotten injured and died from people shooting guns in the air, the bullets have to come down from the air, and they land somewhere,” according to Sgt. McKneely.
Fireworks are illegal throughout all of East Baton Rouge Parish. Anyone caught using them is subject to charges with a criminal offense, according to BRPD.
A report from the U.S. Consumer Safety Commission found that nearly 20,000 reported fires are started by fireworks annually, causing injuries.
Ashley Rodrigue, Public Affairs Director of the Louisiana Fire Marshal says, “The most common injuries that are seen when it comes to fireworks are relative to the hands and face.”
Sparklers account for nearly one-fourth of emergency room firework injuries. Sparklers can heat up to 1200 degrees. To make sure your New Year’s plans don’t get burned out, the Louisiana Fire Marshal has tips and suggestions.
“We would like to advise everyone to take advantage of the public displays that are out. There are those who want to have their own show, so we have some safety tips, for those who want to go out and buy those fireworks,” said Rodrigue.
Fireworks safety tips from the State Fire Marshal:
- Detonate devices at least 200 feet away from structures, vehicles, and rubbish
- Never allow children to light fireworks
- Never operate fireworks while impaired
- Light devices one at a time and monitor embers released with a bucket of water or hose nearby
- Discard detonated items by wetting them down to prevent reignition and do not dispose of them in a trash container immediately
According to the Louisiana Fire Marshal, more than 500 permits have been issued to sell fireworks legally. That sale period ends at 11:59 pm. Jan. 1.