Chief's Monthly Message

Jul 01

[ARCHIVED] Safe and Fun July 4th

The original item was published from July 1, 2016 2:34 PM to September 21, 2018 9:26 AM

Guest column by Fire Chief Brad Smith
Safe and Fun July 4th

Fire Chief Brad SmithIt’s that time of year when we celebrate our nation’s Independence with 4th of July activities. For many years, Derby has allowed shooting of legal fireworks by individuals, so as we approach the fireworks season, let’s talk about safety.

When fireworks explode or shoot out fiery colors, you see a combination of heat, light and noise. Great for celebrating, but when not used responsibly these can cause damage to property and people. It’s important you use precautions if you purchase and use fireworks:

  • Don’t let children use fireworks without adult supervision. Every year children are taken to emergency rooms with fireworks related injuries. Most of the time it’s only a burn, but more serious injuries can occur such as loss of eyesight from flying debris.
  • Adults use precautions, especially when consuming alcohol. The two do not mix.
  • Have a garden hose close by and turned on. It doesn’t hurt to have a bucket of water available also to dump those hot sparkler wires into. 
  • Be considerate of your neighbors when shooting sky works, so you know where the debris is going to fall. Don’t have them pointed so debris comes down over your neighbor’s house. 
  • Remember the legal shooting times: Be done by 10 p.m. through July 2. Only on July 3 and 4 can you shoot until midnight.
  • Also, if you want to report illegal use of fireworks, call 911. If you have a complaint, call the non-emergency number at 290-1011. 
  • Bottle rockets and sky lanterns are illegal in Derby. If you didn’t buy your fireworks in one of the local tents, then you run the risk of it not being approved and it can be confiscated.
When the festivities are done, clean up the trash. Trash left in the gutters to wash away with the next rain pollutes our rivers and streams. Make sure debris is cooled and even wet it down, but don’t put it in the trash receptacle yet. Every year, my department responds to one or two trash containers that catch fire because hot or smoldering debris is placed in them.

Remember, if you have a fire, call 911 immediately. The quicker the fire department gets notified, the easier it is to contain the fire.

One last thing, Derby has a heritage of honoring its men and women who serve in the armed forces. Some of these individuals have seen tours in very unfriendly parts of the world and the explosions created by fireworks can be unsettling to them. If you have such a neighbor, be considerate of them. Most desire you have a great celebration, but the explosions do affect them.

We have much to be thankful for, so enjoy your celebration, and stay safe.

Fire Chief Brad Smith

Published in the Derby Informer on June 29, 2016.