FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012
||Brian R. Haines, public information officer
N.C. Forest Service
Keep your Independence Day celebration safe with these fire safety tips
RALEIGH — The N.C. Forest Service encourages people to celebrate Independence Day by viewing public fireworks displays rather than risk setting wildfires with their own fireworks.
“Many wildfires this time of year are started by the careless use of Class C fireworks, such as sparklers, fountains, glow worms, smoke devices and trick noisemakers,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Each year, wildfires in North Carolina endanger peoples’ lives, destroy millions of dollars worth of timber and property, and damage the environment.”
If people take the risk of using their own fireworks, here are some simple ways to help keep the holiday safe:
- Don’t use fireworks such as ground spinners, firecrackers, round spinners, Roman candles, bottle rockets and mortars, which are illegal in North Carolina.
- Do not use fireworks near woods or any combustible material.
- Make sure fireworks are always used with adult supervision.
- Follow the instructions provided with the fireworks.
- Do not use under the influence of alcohol.
- Always use in a large, open, preferably paved, area or near a body of water.
- Have a rake or shovel as well as a bucket or two of water on hand.
- Monitor the area for several hours after use.
Take precautions with campfires, grills
An increased number of homes are being built in North Carolina’s wooded areas, and officials with the N.C. Forest Service stress the need to take extra precautions to prevent wildfires in residential areas. In addition to taking measures to use fireworks safely, campfires or grills should never be left unattended and should never be started with gasoline.
It is also important when disposing of ashes to never put them in a paper bag or other flammable container, but to instead place them in an outside metal container or bury them in mineral soil in your garden. If you live in an area with organic soils, however, keep in mind that peat can catch fire. Never store ashes in your garage, on your deck or in a wooded area. Double-check the ashes and coals before throwing them away to make sure they won’t start a fire.
People with questions should contact their county ranger or Brian Haines, public information officer with the N.C. Forest Service, at 919-857-4828. For more fire safety information, visit www.ncfirewise.org or http://ncforestservice.gov.