Sparks and recreation: Celebrate safely

It’s the Fourth of July and time to celebrate our nation’s independence.

In addition to gathering with friends and family for barbecues, holiday traditions include fireworks. There will be several large-scale shows in the valley, but you also can set off your own at home. If you choose the latter, there are several precautions you should take so your celebration doesn’t injure anyone or damage property.

According to Tim Szymanski, public information officer for the Las Vegas Fire Department, there is a misconception about the “safe and sane” fireworks sold in booths throughout Clark County.

“Many consider them to be like toys, but they are not. They are just a different form of fireworks and should be used only by adults. They do have the name ‘fire’ in them,” he said.

Fireworks available for sale in the area can be controlled more easily, meaning they do not twirl on the ground, fly through the air or explode, Szymanski said.

Although these fireworks are considered safer, they still present the potential for burns and fires. Szymanski said they should be used on a flat, firm surface away from vegetation and anything flammable. He suggests a private driveway or parking lot, as long as you have permission.

Fireworks cannot be used on any city, state or federal property including schools and parking lots.

“I have seen people use fireworks on the street in a cul-de-sac. While it is technically against the law, I haven’t seen any problems as long as you follow all the rules and clean up,” he said.

Szymanski also cautions against allowing children to use fireworks.

“I get a lot of requests for teaching Boy Scouts how to use fireworks or sparklers. This is not an exception to the rule. We spend all our lives teaching kids not to play with fire. Sparklers are red hot and can set clothing on fire or burn an eye,” he said.

Whenever using fireworks, Szymanski said you need to have a garden hose nearby, connected and ready to use, a bucket of water to put the used fireworks in and a shovel to pick up the used fireworks and put them in the bucket.

The spent fireworks should stay in the bucket for a couple of hours so that they are thoroughly soaked. He said the department responds to many garage fires from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. because used fireworks were just thrown into the trash along with a lot of paper and plastic.

He said you also should never try to relight a dud. If the firework does not function properly, put it in your bucket of water to make sure it is extinguished.

“It’s amazing how many people go to the hospital because they tried to relight a dud,” he said.

Other helpful tips include:

n Clean your yard of any unnecessary weeds or plant growth. Cut grass and keep it watered. Green plants are less likely to burn.

n Remove dead palm tree fronds. These can burn rapidly and cause burning embers that can spread over a wide area causing other fires.

n Clean any accumulated dead leaves, pine needles and other dead growth and dispose of properly.

n Keep a garden hose connected and ready to use in case a fire starts in your yard, even if you are not using fireworks. If you do not have a garden hose to use, a bucket of water on standby is a good backup.

n Keep pets inside in the evening, especially on the Fourth of July.

n Keep vehicles that are parked at home locked up and all windows shut. Park in a garage or under a canopy if available.

n Check your property several times during the evening if fireworks are being used in your area. Many times a fire can be detected while it is small and prevented from getting larger.

In most cases, if a spark from a firework creates a small fire on a lawn, a garden hose can quickly extinguish it. However, if there is any doubt, Szymanski said do not hesitate to dial 911 and call in professional help.

Also, it is illegal to use fireworks after midnight July 5.

Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Meadows School founding kindergarten teacher retires after 34 years at the school
Linda Verbon, founder of the The Meadows School's kindergarten program and the first faculty member hired at the school, retired in the spring after 34 years at The Meadows. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kids become firefighters at Fire Station 98 open house
Henderson residents wore fire hats, learned about CPR and met firefighters at the Fire Station 98 open house Saturday, August 11, 2018. (Marcus Villagran Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
People from all over the world attend RollerCon 2018
RollerCon 2018 is a five-day convention focused on the roller derby community and culture at Westgate in Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Las Vegas police officer on being PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door
Las Vegas police officer David Anthony talks vegan lifestyle and how he feels about being voted PETA's sexiest Vegan next door from his home on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home and Garden Video
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like