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Jun 23

Big Bang

Posted on June 23, 2017 at 8:30 AM by Kristy Bansemer

Before long, we’ll see big tents on Rock Road, Patriot Avenue and K-15 selling fireworks so Derbyites can celebrate American independence and freedom, so let’s talk about safety as we begin to enjoy the big bangs.
You know that little fuse you place your punk or lighter on and watch it sizzle into the body of the firework? Well, next comes the explosion with its color, big bang and sparks…perfect for a celebration…but still an explosion of sparks and heat with the power to ignite a fire and get people hurt.

Last year in Kansas, 137 people were injured by fireworks and required medical attention. Use these precautions if you purchase and use fireworks:
  • Don’t let children use fireworks without adult supervision. Every year children are taken to emergency rooms with fireworks related injuries. Most of the time it’s only a burn, but more serious injuries can occur such as loss of eyesight from flying debris.
  • Adults use precautions, especially when consuming alcohol. The two do not mix.
  • Keep a garden hose close by and turned on. It doesn’t hurt to have a bucket of water available also to dump those hot sparkler wires into.
  • Be considerate of your neighbors when shooting sky works, so you know where the debris is going to fall. Don’t have them pointed so debris comes down over your neighbor’s house. 
  • Remember the legal shooting times: Be done by 10 p.m. through July 2. Only on July 3 and 4 can you shoot until midnight.
  • Also, if you want to report illegal use of fireworks, call 911. If you have a complaint, call the non-emergency number at 316-290-1011. 
  • Bottle rockets and sky lanterns are illegal in Derby. If you didn’t buy your fireworks in one of the local tents, then you run the risk of it being illegal, and it can be confiscated.
Derby also has a tradition of honoring its men and women who serve in the armed forces. Some have seen tours in very unfriendly parts of the world, and the explosions created by fireworks can be unsettling to them. If you have such a neighbor, be considerate of them. Most desire you have a great celebration, but the explosions do affect them.

When the festivities are done, clean up the trash. Trash left in the gutters to wash away with the next rain pollutes our rivers and streams. Make sure debris is cooled and even wet it down, but don’t put it in the trash receptacle yet. Every year, my department responds to one or two trash containers that catch fire because hot or smoldering debris is placed in them.

Remember, if you have a fire, call 911 immediately. The quicker the fire department is notified, the easier it is to contain the fire.

We have much to be thankful for, so enjoy your celebration, and stay safe.

Fire Chief Brad Smith

Published in the Derby Informer on June 21, 2017.