Fireworks can cause serious injury or death if not used properly. Arkansans need to keep this in mind as preparations are underway for Independence Day, according to a press release from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported four fatalities and an estimated 7,600 injuries related to fireworks in the U.S. in 2016.
“Fireworks are fun to watch and are a traditional part of many July Fourth festivities,” Rutledge said. “As some across the state put on their own fireworks displays rather than attending one of the larger displays taking place, I urge extreme caution. The improper use or malfunctioning fireworks can lead to fires, serious injury or even death.”
Rutledge released the following tips for consumers who are planning their own holiday fireworks show:
• Only buy fireworks from a licensed store, tent or stand.
• Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area.
• Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
• Supervise children at all times and make sure adults light every firework, including sparklers, which can reach 2,000 degrees.
• Make sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
• Never relight a malfunctioning firework. Soak the duds in water and throw them away.
• Do not shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers.
• Keep a water hose or bucket of water nearby in case of a fire.
• Consider securing pets during local fireworks displays as many get scared of the loud noises and may try to find a way to get away and seek shelter.
Arkansas’ “Fireworks Act” restricts the types of fireworks that can be sold in the state and the amount of explosive material that each firework may contain.
Firework vendors are required to have a state license. They may not sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 12 or to anyone who appears to be intoxicated. Municipal ordinances may also restrict or regulate fireworks sales and use.
State law only allows exploding fireworks to be sold each year from June 20 to July 10 and from Dec. 10 to Jan. 5. Non-exploding items, such as sparklers and snakes, may be sold throughout the year.
For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.