4th of July reminders from firefighters

Published: Jun. 28, 2020 at 11:38 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -Firefighters want you to have a great 4th of July, but a few reminders can go a long way.

Each city has their own city limits when it comes to fireworks. Firework ordinances are different for every city, so it is important to know the rules and regulations for your neighborhood. Especially because those ordinances normally change on the 4th of July.

“You light a firework and it goes off and it doesn’t explode then don’t walk back up to it and try to relight it,” said City of Nitro firefighter, Terrell Lovejoy.

The City of Nitro allows fireworks from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. but only on 4th of July. Children cannot buy them and they shouldn’t light them. You cannot let them off in the street or sidewalks and especially away from buildings.

“Stay 100 feet away from a structure and 500 feet from any kind of structure with extra hazards such as a gas station,” said City of Nitro firefighter, Chase Petry.

The city of St. Albans follows similar laws but the hours are between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. on the 4th of July, the same ordinance as the City of Charleston.

Chris Collins is the fire marshal for the City of St. Albans and he remembers an incident in 2019 where St. Albans firefighters responded to a home that caught on fire.

“Come to find out we had a teenager that was discharging the fireworks irresponsibly one went over onto his neighbors porch and ignited the porch and set it on fire,” said Lt. Collins.

He said the home had some damage but it is a valuable lesson for anyone wanting to set off fireworks. Lt. Collins also said there is a lot of liability even when doing it within St. Albans city laws.

“If those fireworks go into your neighbor’s yard, all the debris, and all the trash they cause, you are responsible for that pickup,” said Lt. Collins.

The one who sets off the fireworks is the one held responsible for any damage and fire suppression efforts it may cause.

Lt. Collins says never try to ignite a projectile firework in your hand. They have seen several hand injuries because of it.

Another law that must be followed in St. Albans is fireworks should not be utilized or discharged by someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“A lot of injuries we see comes from people intoxicated or under the influence,” said Lt. Collins.

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