HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — As we head into the Fourth of July weekend, it's important to know how to light fireworks safely so you can keep yourself safe and your family safe. We spoke to Dan Wilkerson, the Huntsville Fire Marshal, on how to do that.
He says this time of the year tends to be busy for the fire department.
"Every 4th of July our call volume goes up and we get swamped with calls from people using fireworks that are illegal but we also get numerous medical calls…and then also we have several fires during the 4th of July holidays."
In the City of Huntsville, it's illegal for residents to set off fireworks into the sky. But you can use sparklers and other ground devices.
Wilkerson shares the best way to use these novelties safely.
"You want to make sure that you have a bucket of water nearby in case you need it to extinguish a fire or to extinguish the sparklers in the bucket of water…you never want to use those devices around combustible materials."
He says that it's very important parents watch their children at all times.
"If you're allowing kids to use these devices…always supervise them. The majority of injuries that are caused during the firework holidays are from sparklers that involve children."
But ultimately, Wilkerson's biggest tip is for residents to attend the professional firework displays since it's been tested and approved by the fire department.
And if you do happen to identify a fire...
"The first thing you want to do is call 9-1-1…the earlier we can get there, the faster we can minimize damage and intervene in that emergency situation."