Firework Safety


Fourth of July is upon us and soon many of you reading this may be injured due to handling fireworks. Each year our hospitals and ER waiting rooms will be filled with people injured in an effort to celebrate the 4th. Each year sees nearly ten deaths in the US related to firework use and last year alone had over 12,000 injuries and burns. In order to avoid you or your family being among these statistics here are some quick tips on firework safety.

The simplest solution is to simply not use your own fireworks. Attend a public display in Winchester or a surrounding county. These displays are conducted by professionals and will likely feature both more and larger fireworks than any one household can provide. On top of that these are provided at no cost to the audience.

Never use fireworks when impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Only purchase fireworks from a licensed retailer. It is also important to buy new fireworks each season and never use outdated fireworks.

When lighting fireworks, wear eye protection and ear plugs. Do not wear loose fitting clothing. Tie back long hair and make sure the area you are lighting fireworks in is not dry and easily flammable.

Be sure to light fireworks at least 200 feet away from any building and do it in a flat place that you can easily run at least 60 feet away after lighting the firework.

Light one firework at a time and do not re-light any firework that malfunctions. Do not light fireworks in a container.

Always supervise young children or anyone under 18 who is lighting fireworks

Never point fireworks at another person or carry them in your pocket. After using fireworks soak them in water and leave them in a trash can away from anything flammable. Always keep water nearby when using fireworks.

More fires are reported on July 4th than any other day of the year. Each Independence Day fireworks cause on average 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 17,000 other fires resulting in thousands of injuries and burns. Many of these are attributed to people using homemade, outdated, or illegal fireworks. Certain fireworks are prohibited in the state of KY and can only be purchased with a permit, they include:

·        bottle rockets

·        skyrockets

·        roman candles

·        firecrackers

·        missiles

·        parachutes

·        sky flyers

·        display shells

·        aerial items (cakes)


You must be eighteen years of age or older to buy fireworks and if you are lighting them while under the age of 18 you must be supervised by an adult. In the city of Winchester, you may only discharge fireworks during the hours of 10:00 am to 11:00 pm from June 27-July 6 and December 30- January 1.

If you are aware of someone selling illegal explosives such as M-80s, Chery Bombs, and Silver Salutes, contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms immediately at 1-888-ATF-BOMBS (1-888-283-2662) or email ATFTips@atf.gov


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Article Submitted by: Jessica Dominguez, Environmentalist