Tips From the Pros On How to Prevent Firework Fires
Montana State Fire Marshal, Allen Lorenz, is asking all Montanans to help prevent forest fires this 4th of July by not lighting any fireworks. Is this something you can do? While many of us will inevitably buy fireworks to celebrate, I think we can all agree that we don’t want to start any more fires. That’s why I reached out to the firework distributors to ask what they are doing to help prevent fires from starting.
Ten Finger Fireworks gave us seven rules to follow to be as safe as possible while celebrating independence day.
- It may seem counter intuitive but the fireworks most likely to cause fires are not large displays that go high in the air but the smaller items that go up less than ten feet. Larger cake style displays go high enough in the air for any sparks to extinguish long before they could hit the ground but smaller items geared towards kids that spin and shoot sparks close to the ground need to be handled with caution.
- Always take care to only light fireworks on level ground and shore up any smaller fireworks to insure that they don’t tip over. The best place to stage your show is away from tall, dry grasses or trees on a level, cement surface. If you have to light your display on grass or gravel we recommend using a piece of plywood to create a level surface.
- Wet the ground in and around the area where you will be setting off your display and always have a fire extinguisher or hose and adequate water supply on hand.
- NEVER take fireworks to national forests or park areas! Even in wet years, fireworks are never legal or appropriate in these areas.
- NEVER put spent fireworks or “duds” in a fire. Soak spent fireworks with water and dispose of them only when completely cooled.
- Don’t attempt to pick up or relight “duds”. Wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak in a bucket of water before disposal. Buying from a reputable distributor will minimize your chance of purchasing “duds”.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a designated sober shooter. There is no substitute for good judgment.