(KLFY) — It’s almost time to celebrate the start of 2022, but before we light up the night sky, fire officials have a few firework safety tips.
Structural fires are a real concern when popping fireworks. The Scott fire chief says in the last two years, they’ve caused two house fires. Both were from not properly disposing the fireworks.
“They popped the fireworks, thinking the fireworks were popped, and the hazard was completed. So they threw the fireworks in the trash can, and the trash can was next to the house. That’s actually what set both houses on fire,” Scott Fire Chief Chad Sonnier said.
A neighbor caught the fire that resulted on video, now serving a reminder of what could happen.
“We recommend that you keep a bucket of water next to you and as soon as a firecrack has been popped, leave it sit for about 15-20 minutes. Then come back and take that firework and dump it in that water to make sure it’s fully extinguished,” Chief Sonnier added.
He also says if you live in a residential neighborhood, try to get out in an open area. He recommends staying 300 to 400 feet away from the nearest home.
“The majority of fireworks, as you know, go up into the air and explode or pop, and when they come back down, they could land on a roof and smolder for a couple of hours then have a fire in the middle of the night or early the next morning,” he warned.
Chief Sonnier also says you should never carry fireworks in your pocket.
“Tonight’s a great night to have fun with your family. It’s tradition, but we also want everybody to remain safe. We don’t want anybody’s house to burn and by any means, we don’t want anybody to have to go to the hospital as a result of the fireworks, so please be safe out there with your family and friends and have a great New Year’s,” he told News Ten.
Most cities have their own ordinances for what times you can pop fireworks. To find out when you can light up, contact your local police or fire department.
In Lafayette, you can pop fireworks tonight until 1 a.m. in unincorporated areas.