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Firefighters warn of firework dangers before Fourth of July

Published: Friday, June 28, 2019 @ 9:44 PM

City officials and the Dayton Fire Department are asking residents to play it safe this Fourth of July and leave fireworks displays to trained professionals, especially after an accident last year left a man in critical condition.

The Dayton Fire Department has warned residents against shooting fireworks on the Fourth of July.

While you can purchase fireworks, it’s illegal to set them off both in the city and the state of Ohio because it’s not safe to trigger unpredictable devices in a populated area, Dayton Fire Department Assistant Chief Nicholas Hosford said.

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Just one year ago, Keshawn Rivers was critically injured when his car exploded after a firework went off in his car — loaded with fireworks — on Delphos Avenue in Dayton.

Dayton firefighters said that was just one example of the danger of transporting fireworks and setting them off for backyard displays.

“Anything goes wrong in that vehicle and you’re basically traveling with explosives,” Hosford said. “It can be as simple as an error with a bottle rocket, instead of going straight up in the air, it goes straight out into a garage or home.”

Firefighters advise leaving fireworks to the professionals for the Independence Day holiday.

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In Dayton, the Lights in Flight festival will begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday, with the fireworks show scheduled for 10 p.m.

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“Even trick and novelty fireworks, such as sparklers and snakes, are inherently dangerous and can cause serious injuries if handled improperly,” State Fire Marshal Jeff Hussey said.

The state fire marshal also has offered some safety tips:
  • Handle and discharge trick and novelty devices only under adult supervision. 
  • Educate yourself on the hazards of each type of device being used. 
  • Carefully read and follow the label directions on the packaging of a trick and novelty device. 
  • Light only one sparkler at a time and hold it away from your body and others. 
  • Sparkler wires, which can burn up to 1,800 degrees, should immediately be placed in a bucket of water to avoid injury, because they remain hot for a few minutes after burnout.