State Fire Marshall offers safety tips before Independence Day

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) —  The State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM) is asking all Louisiana residents to use fireworks safely, understand the fireworks you are buying and be prepared if you are going to go to a fireworks display during the coronavirus pandemic.

“In the event a public display is still being offered in your area, and your family is considering attending, we strongly encourage every member of your household to wear face coverings, to provide your own seating and to ensure that seating is spaced six feet from the nearest individual or group of individuals,” SFM officials said in a recent release.

According to the SFM, with fireworks displays canceled or altered due to the concerns over COVID-19, many residents may chose to do their down.

If your family choses to purchase fireworks in order to stay safer at home, the SFM wants you to know the following:

  • There is no prohibition on the sale of retail fireworks at the state level as a result of COVID-19.
  • State law does still require wholesale and retail fireworks business operators to be appropriately licensed by the SFM in the parishes and municipalities where they are legally allowed
  • The sales season extends through July 4th.

A retail fireworks business must follow Phase 2 guidance for “Shopping Malls/Retail Stores.” The full guidance can be found here.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), “fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires in 2018, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage.”

To prevent any sort of fire or firework related injury the SFM encourages:

  • Detonating devices at least 200 feet away from structures, vehicles and rubbish
  • Never allowing children to light fireworks
  • Never operating fireworks while impaired
  • Lighting devices one at a time and monitoring embers released with a bucket of water or hose nearby
  • Discarding detonated items by wetting them down to prevent reignition and not disposing of them in a trash container immediately

Enjoy your Independence Day whether you go to a fireworks show or stay home and do it yourself.

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