LANSING (WWJ) – As the 4th of July holiday nears, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is urging people to use caution and take safety measures when using fireworks this summer.
“With folks filling state parks, campgrounds and backyards to celebrate the Fourth of July, it’s vital that precautions are taken prior to lighting campfires and setting off fireworks,” said DNR fire prevention specialist Ada Takacs. “You can still have fun while celebrating with friends and family, even if you’re being safe.”
Takacs said the best way to avoid risk is to attend public fireworks and leave the lighting to professionals.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, in over a five-year period, 91 percent of fires associated with fireworks occurred in grass, brush, or dumpsters.
When planning to use fireworks the DNR suggests keeping a few safety tips in mind.
Sparklers can reach up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt gold, and should be thrown in water once the spark is gone.
Throwing them on the ground can cause risk for grass fires.
The DNR also urges that fireworks be pointed away from homes and to keep clear from brush, leaves and flammable substances. It is important to soak fireworks in water before throwing them in the trash.
“Fireworks and campfires are a great way to celebrate the Fourth of July,” Takacs said. “But you’ll enjoy the holidays much more knowing that your family and your property are safe.”
In addition to fireworks, campfire safety should be kept in mind as well.
The DNR suggests that fire rings be used in non-flammable areas when possible, never leave a campfire unattended, keep water and a shovel nearby and completely extinguish fires before turning in for the night.
Fore more information on fire safety and tips visit the DNR’s webpage.