Maple Grove Fire Stresses Fireworks Safety
Fireworks may be a quintessential part of Fourth of July celebrations, but a local fire department is urging folks to be cautious when handling them.
According to the Minnesota State Fire Marshal, more than 60 people were injured by fireworks last year. The Maple Grove Fire Department shows us just how easy it is for things to get out of hand.
“We want to show how flammable even the legal ones can be for dry grass or other landscaping,” said Bethany Brunsell, fire prevention specialist.
Maple Grove Demonstrates Fireworks Safety
The Maple Grove Fire Department showed just how quickly a fire could start. Using legal fireworks, they lit a device and put it next to some shredded paper. Sparks fly, then after about a minute, the nearby paper catches fire.
“This could be the same thing if it were any dry material that is near your fireworks,” said Brunsell. “You want to keep them away from anything that could possibly start on fire.”
Some contain gunpowder, sulfur and charcoal, which can send embers flying.
“Even though fireworks may be legal in the state, they are not necessarily safe, or they could still cause injuries, and they can cause fires,” explained Brunsell.
Sparklers are a favorite among children. But they too can cause injuries.
“It’s almost like giving a child a blow torch to play with,” said the safety official.
“Roughly 30 percent of all injuries each year are caused by sparklers. These wood sparklers can go anywhere from 1,200 to 2,000 degrees, causing third-degree burns,” said Patrick Farrens, Maple Grove deputy fire chief.
Experts say if you want all the oohs and ahhs of fireworks, leave it to the professionals. But if you do decide to set off fireworks, Maple Grove fire officials recommend having a bucket of water nearby so you can soak them when you’re done.