Fireworks display at Turner’s Pond Saturday
George Fithen and Ron Hathorne will host the annual fireworks display at Turner's Pond in Minden on New Year's Eve, Saturday. The display will begin around 6 p.m. once the sky is completely dark, according to Fithen.
In addition to professional fireworks displays, many will use commercial fireworks on their own. Safety is an important consideration since thousands are injured in the U.S. every year from commercial fireworks accidents.
An estimated 8,600 fireworks-related injuries occurred in 2010, according to a Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) report. Approximately 40 percent of the injuries involved children under age 15, and more than 50 percent involved those under age 20.
Three fireworks-related fatalities were reported across the country in 2010, including a 55-year-old man who died as the result of a home explosion caused by "mischievous use of Roman candles," according to CPSC.
To help avoid injury or property damage, Minden Press-Herald has compiled the following safety tips with the assistance of CPSC, Minden Fire Chief Kip Mourad and Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper:
Keep a water supply (a garden hose or a bucket) handy in case of fire.
Be sure other people are out of range before use.
Never let children light fireworks, and provide close adult supervision for teens.
Do not run or participate in horseplay.
Use fireworks outdoors only and keep them away from combustibles and busy areas.
Do not light fireworks in containers, particularly glass.
Light only one at a time and move away from it.
Do not light fireworks with any part of the body directly above them.
Keep unused fireworks away from area of use.
Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
Soak used or malfunctioning fireworks with water before throwing them away.
Purchase fireworks only from a licensed vendor.
Follow all label directions carefully and use common sense.
Keep in mind the hours of usage and be considerate of your neighbors.
And please help keep Minden beautiful by cleaning up debris from fireworks.
What the law allows
Fireworks use laws vary from place to place.
In Minden, it is legal to use fireworks from December 15 until midnight on New Year's Eve. However some leeway will be given after midnight Saturday.
"Normally we try to get people to stop around 10 p.m.," Cropper said. "On New Year's Eve we're going to tolerate a little bit after midnight, but shortly after midnight, they are supposed to stop shooting fireworks.
"Of course if we get people calling in reference to causing a disturbance then we're going to send officers to check it out," he added. "Hopefully we won't have too many of those problems."
Cropper also said people should understand that firearms are not fireworks.
"Once those bullets go in the air they have to come down somewhere," he said. They can seriously injure or kill whomever they land on.
It is illegal to discharge a firearm in Minden city limits and one or two people are arrested for it every year, according to Cropper.
Additional firework safety information can be obtained on the web at www.cpsc.gov/info/fireworks and www.fireworkssafety.org.