Safety is priority when handling fireworks

Published 10:22 am Wednesday, July 3, 2013

WINDSOR—There’s fireworks, and then there’s fireworks. Either way, safety is paramount, according to two local officials.

On Independence Day, Windsor is the closest place offering a major-sized pyrotechnicolor display in this part of Western Tidewater.

“We want the residents to have a good time and enjoy fireworks,” said Windsor Police Chief Vic Reynolds, “but first and foremost is safety, safety, safety.”

He said the town adheres to state laws when it comes to fireworks.

“Sparklers and things of that sort are OK,” he said, confirming that projectile fireworks are not permitted except in licensed hands.

Reynolds added that while the state burn ban has not been lifted in spite of all the rain, he thinks that it’ll be safe to use the aforementioned fireworks you can buy locally.

To the best of his recollection, there have been no incidents involving fireworks since he started in February 2006.

In Franklin, the city follows state rules, said Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Mark Carr.

“No fireworks are allowed whatsoever, and it’s been that way for quite some time,” Carr said.

Carr quickly added that when referring to fireworks, he means the projectile kind, such as bottle rockets. Only a licensed pyrotechnic company that’s been rigorously trained and certified can shoot these kind and the fireworks are inspected throughout the event.

“This does not include sparklers, fountains and non-projectiles,” Carr said.

When handling those kind, however, “Absolutely with safety should be the first concern. They should be done in a very open area with no vegetation, nor close to a residence or other structure,” he said.

Carr added that it’s been over 10 years since the fire department had to respond to an incident involving fireworks. Then, he recalled, there was a structure fire caused when a child found fireworks in an attic and lit them.