MARY MEAUX — Keep it safe this holiday when popping fireworks

Published 12:05 am Thursday, June 30, 2022

With the Fourth of July comes fireworks and the annual calls to remember where fireworks can be popped legally and the rules to safely do so.

The Port Arthur Fire Department issued a reminder that the use of fireworks in the city boundaries is prohibited by city ordinance.

The use of fireworks within the city could result in a citation and a fine of $50 to $2,000.

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“Be aware that most incorporate cities in the area have similar ordinances in place,” PAFD said via Facebook.

And that’s true; firework use is prohibited in all local cities.

And if you do choose to do fireworks, please be safe.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were an estimated 19,500 reported fires started by fireworks in the U.S. in 2018. That led to five civilian deaths, 46 civilian injuries and $105 million in direct property damage.

Some of the injuries reported in 2018 include an 18-month-old girl who burned her foot when she stepped on a burning sparkler, a 2-year-old girl who burned her eyelid when she touched a sparkler that had burned out but was still hot, an 8-year-old boy suffered a corneal abrasion when the firecracker he was trying to re-light went off, a 13-year-old boy was burned on the neck and back when someone aimed a Roman candle at a group of people, an 18-year-old suffered lacerations to his fingers and chest and arm abrasions when the M-80 he lit went off immediately and a 27-year-old man’s finger was amputated when the firework shell he lit exploded in his hand.

The National Safety Council offered tips for those using fireworks:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
  • Never light them indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire
  • Never use illegal fireworks

The safest way to view fireworks is at one of several local celebrations.

In Nederland there will be live musical entertainment and vendors, and the pool will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday. Fireworks begin after 9 p.m. at Doornbos Park.

Port Arthur’s celebration is hosted by Lamar State College Port Arthur, City of Port Arthur and Motiva and is set for 6 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Carl Parker center, 1800 Lakeshore Drive, ending with fireworks over the ship channel.

The Aces Blues Band will provide the musical entertainment and there will be a gaming truck on hand for gamers.

The event also includes balloon artists, face painting, photo booth, coloring station and giant board games as well as ice cream courtesy of Motiva.

Mary Meaux is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at mary.meaux@panews.com.