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Safety emphasized for 2014 fireworks season
June 26, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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Under Gering city ordinance, fireworks can only be sold between June 25 and July 4. Those are also the only days when the public may legally use fireworks. Hours are from 8 a.m. – 10:30 p.m., except for midnight on July 4.

“Lots of times it’s just common courtesy,” Templar said. “Pay attention to where you’re lighting the fireworks to be sure there are no obstructions. And only purchase fireworks from licensed vendors in the state. It’s illegal to bring them in from other states.”

Being respectful of neighbors and watching for traffic are also important. And afterwards, be sure to clean up any firework debris left behind.

“People have to be especially careful if the weather dries out,” Templar said. “Fireworks can spread a lot of sparks which can start fires on roofs or in dry vegetation.”

He also said adult supervision is important when children are discharging fireworks. “We talk about children not playing with matches all the time. We shouldn’t forget that for 10 days during fireworks season.”

A good suggestion is to keep a bucket of water close whenever fireworks are being set off. And never try to relight a firework that didn’t fully function.

There always seems to be small fires and injuries caused by fireworks, so it’s important to be careful and read all the directions provided with them.

The last major fireworks-caused fire happened in 2012, when a resident’s garage caught fire. They had disposed of the fireworks properly into a trash container, which was rolled up against the garage. However, the fireworks were still hot, and caught fire later.

“Fireworks have to be cold to the touch before being disposed in any dumpster or trash can,” Templar said. “The resident did an excellent job putting the stuff away, but neglected the hot embers.”

Templar summed up the basics of fireworks safety for the public: Be prepared before lighting fireworks. Be safe when lighting fireworks. And be responsible after finishing by cleaning up the debris.
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