Oswego Fire Department Urges Caution Near Fireworks

Fireworks lit up the night sky following Saturday's racing.

Fireworks lit up the night sky following Saturday's racing.

OSWEGO, NY – Independence Day, unfortunately, is one of the busiest days of the year for firefighters.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, more fires are reported on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year and two out of five are fireworks-related incidents.

The Oswego Fire Department advises that the best way to enjoy fireworks and prevent injury is to watch a professional show.

“Consumer fireworks are dangerous and the risks to personal safety and the safety of the community are significant,” said Oswego Fire Chief Jeff McCrobie.

Fireworks were involved in an estimated 11,400 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2013, according to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks, cookouts and community events can quickly turn to disaster if proper precautions are not taken.

Children are especially at risk on July 4.

In 2013, 40 percent of victims with fireworks injuries were under 15.

Children should never play with fireworks. Even sparklers can reach 1,200º Fahrenheit.

“Fireworks are not legal in the city of Oswego. Legal or not, if you decide to ignore these words of caution and set off your own fireworks display, precautions need to be taken and taken seriously,” McCrobie said. “While pretty, fireworks can be very, very dangerous.”

Please only call 9-1-1 for potentially life-threatening situations so firefighters are available to respond quickly when lives are in danger.

For more information about fireworks safety, visit http://www.nfpa.org/fireworks

To check the legality of fireworks in your state, visit http://www.usfireworks.biz/legal/legal.htm

OFD’s July 4 Public Safety Checklist

The Oswego Fire Department wants you and your family to be safe on the Fourth.

If you insist on setting off your own fireworks, the National Fire Protection Association recommends taking these precautions.

• Only buy fireworks from a licensed seller (not from someone on the street or from someone’s house)
• Read and follow the directions on the fireworks before lighting them
• Have water handy in case of an emergency
• Only use fireworks in an open, outdoor area
• Light the fireworks on a hard surface and be cautious of any wind
• Have a designated person to set off the fireworks who avoids alcohol and does not wear loose clothing
• Make sure that the designated person wears safety goggles and close toed shoes
• Do not alter or combine fireworks
• Aim the firework away from houses, dry leaves, flammable materials and people
• Never extend a body part over the devise
• Light one firework at a time
• Never relight a “dud” firework
• Wait 20 minutes after setting off the firework to approach it and then soak it in water

Remember, the best way to enjoy fireworks and prevent injury is to watch a professional show.

Some shows in the Oswego area include:

Saturday, July 4 – Oswego Speedway, immediately after racing program
Sunday, July 5 – Oswego Harbor

The Oswego Fire Department wishes you a joyous Independence Day.