It's time to bring the new year in with a BANG, and many people will be celebrating with fireworks.

Here in Shreveport fireworks went on sale on December 15th and will remain on sale until midnight January 1st. Fireworks can be a fun and festive way to celebrate, but be sure and use caution when celebrating.

Here are some helpful tips on remaining safe while celebrating:

  1. Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water/hose nearby in case of accidents.
  2. Designate a safety perimeter. If you have ground-based fireworks like a fountain, spectating from at least 35 feet away is best. For aerial fireworks, you’ll want everyone to move back to a distance of around 150 feet.
  3. Ditch faulty fireworks. Sometimes fireworks don’t go off, but duds always pose a risk. The important thing to know is that you should never try to relight or approach a failed firework. Let duds sit for 5 -10 minutes before you put them in a bucket of water. This can prevent injury from a delayed explosion and disarm the firework permanently so you can safely dispose of it.
  4. Supervise children when they are handling sparklers. Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet or touching body parts.
  5. Don’t forget about your pets! Fireworks can be extremely stressful for pets, but there are ways to help reduce their fear and anxiety. Keep your pets indoors. Close the curtains or blinds and turn on the TV or radio to provide some distraction. Treat toys filled with their favorite food (frozen pumpkin puree, peanut butter, and apple sauce are good options) may also help keep their minds busy and distract them from the fireworks.
  6. Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
  7. Never place a part of your body directly over a firework or hold a firework in your hand when lighting. To safely light fireworks, make sure they are secured on the ground away from people and animals and use a stem lighter such as a grill lighter.
  8. Only light one firework at a time. Lighting multiple fireworks at the same time increases the risk of accidents occurring from the fuse burning faster than designed.
  9. Avoid alcohol consumption when handling or using fireworks. This should be pretty self-explanatory.
  10. Consider safe alternatives to fireworks such as party poppers, bubbles, silly string, or glow sticks.

In addition to these tips, follow all manufacturer’s guidelines for consumer safety.

Along with safety, it's important to adhere to the laws surrounding fireworks in our area.

Sales to children under fifteen or to intoxicated or irresponsible persons prohibited; unlawful discharge; minimum age for employee; penalties

A.  No person shall offer to sell or sell fireworks to a child known to be under the age of fifteen years or to any person known to be intoxicated or any person known to be irresponsible.

B.  No person shall explode or ignite fireworks within one thousand feet of any church, hospital, asylum, school, public building, or fireworks retail location.

C.  No person shall ignite or discharge fireworks in a motor vehicle or throw fireworks from a motor vehicle.  Whoever violates this Subsection shall be fined five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

D.  No person shall place an ignited article of fireworks in or throw an ignited article of fireworks at a motor vehicle.  Whoever violates this Subsection shall be fined five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

E.  No minor under the age of seventeen shall be employed in a facility where fireworks are sold at retail without complying with the regulations of the Louisiana Workforce Commission.  The minor shall be subject to the restrictions placed on the number of hours of employment permitted minors by the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

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