By Alan Sorensen
With the Fourth of July fast approaching, area residents are reminded that detonating fireworks inside the Havre city limits and Beaver Creek Park is illegal.
Assistant Havre Fire Chief Craig Ellingson suggested that anyone intending to set off fireworks or fireworks displays to check first with private property owners and Hill County officials about possible legal locations.
Hill County Sheriff Tim Solomon said his office has no authority to give permission for fireworks on any county property.
Clay Vincent of the Hill County Health Department said that roadways and public right-of-ways along roadways in the county are definitely off limits to fireworks.
Solomon and Vincent both advise people to first get the approval of landowners before setting off fireworks on private property.
If they questions a particular site, just come down to the health department office or the sheriffs office to see if its all right, Vincent said.
Were always concerned about fireworks injuring kids.
Be sure to contact the private landowner, Solomon said, and go enjoy yourself.
Consumer fireworks, Ellingson said, are considered as cone fountains, cylindrical fountains, Roman candles, sky rockets, firecrackers, mines and shells, helicopter-type rockets, certain sparklers, and revolving wheels.
More than 6,100 fires resulting in $7.6 million in losses are started annually by fireworks in the United States, he said. Each year, about 10,000 Americans sustain fireworks-related injuries.
Children from 5 to 14 are very adventuresome and experimental, Ellingson said. They are likely to take risks in many of their activities. This age group is the one most frequently involved in fireworks-related injuries.
The need for adult supervision in this age group is very important with fireworks activities.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requires that all fireworks must show the name of the item, the name of the manufacturer or distributor, and easy-to-read cautionary labeling instructions for proper use. Look for that information on the label, Ellingson said. If these do not appear, the item may have been made illegally and could be unsafe.
Following is a list of safety tips Ellingson provided in hopes that everyone can have a safe and enjoyable Independence Day.
Always read and follow label directions;
Have an adult present;
Buy from reliable fireworks sellers;
Ignite all fireworks outdoors;
Have water available;
Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks;
Only light one item at a time;
Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks;
Never give fireworks to young children;
Store fireworks in a cool, dry place;
Make sure all fireworks are disposed of properly;
Never throw fireworks at another person;
Never carry fireworks in your pocket;
Never shoot off fireworks in a metal or glass container;
Never try to reattach fuses;
M-80s, M-100s, Cherry Bombs, and Silver Salutes are illegal;
Firefighters with the Havre Fire Department say be smart and lets celebrate the Fourth of July safely, Ellingson said. Have a great Fourth of July weekend.