Chief urges firework safety this weekend

By CHRISTINE STEPHENSON
cstephenson@dcherald.com

A Fourth of July weekend celebration isn’t complete without a couple fireworks, but Jasper Fire Chief Kenny Hochgesang is urging Dubois County residents to be careful.

Children need to be supervised by adults when fireworks are being set off nearby, he said, and fireworks should never be set off in an area that isn’t safe and approved.

“This is due to the fact of how many people die or are injured every year from discharging fireworks, and also with all the number of buildings that catch fire annually,” he said. “At the end of the day, we want everyone to go home safe.”

Additionally, Hochgesang said fireworks should not be set off in anyone’s hand, as it may not be discharged as designed. Fireworks should also only be set off one at a time in case one doesn’t discharge and goes unnoticed.

If you plan to set off fireworks on a property that isn’t yours, such as an apartment complex, it’s necessary to get permission from the owners first.

“I know a lot of our local landlords don’t allow fireworks for that reason,” Hochgesang said. “They don’t want any property damage or anything destroyed by tenants.”

Once the show is over, it’s important to clean up the debris afterward, he said. In the meantime, it can be helpful to have a bucket of water nearby in case a fire needs to be extinguished. Thankfully, Hochgesang said, this year’s weather should help in preventing fires.

“We’ve got some rain now, so it’s not near as dry as what we had in the past few days,” he said. “The rain will definitely help to prevent any type of grass or field fires.”

Consumer fireworks can only be used from 10 a.m. to midnight on July 4, and 5 p.m. until two hours after sunset on July 3 and July 5-9. More firework safety tips and laws can be found on the Indiana Department of Homeland Security's website at www.in.gov/dhs/get-prepared/fireworks-safety/.




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