COVINGTON, KY – This upcoming Fourth of July, the City of Covington wants to ensure its residents are safe and made aware of the dangers associated with fireworks.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fireworks caused an estimated 18,500 reported fires, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires from 2009-2013 in the United States. In 2014, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 10,500 people for fireworks related injuries, mostly to children ages 5 to 9.
Those using fireworks need to be responsible, considerate, and safe this Fourth of July, especially in the urban core where high population density greatly increases the chance of fire and injury.
City officials are also reminding citizens of not only the dangers associated with the use of fireworks, but also the public nuisance. Fireworks are smoky and loud and while many people enjoy them, there are many who do not like to be exposed to them.
Loud fireworks can be a nuisance to citizens sensitive to noise, including war veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. They can also affect pets with sensitive ears and make them fearful and panicked. The noise can cause problems for parents of young children trying to sleep.
The Kentucky State Fire Marshal offers the following guidance:
- Use fireworks outdoors only, far from surrounding buildings and structures.
- Obey state and local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
- Always keep a bucket of water or a working water hose nearby.
- Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter them or combine them.
- Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a "designated adult shooter."
- Do not use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives -- they can kill you!
- Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Safety guidelines set by Kentucky state law must be followed.
City of Covington Ordinances have the following restrictions on the use and sale of fireworks:
- People under 18 cannot sell fireworks unless supervised by a parent or guardian.
- People under 18 cannot purchase fireworks.
- Fireworks cannot be used within 200 feet of a structure, vehicle or other person.
- Fireworks cannot be sold to anyone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Additionally, it is illegal to use fireworks in City parks at any time. Anyone who sees the use of fireworks in a City park should call Kenton County Dispatch at 859-356-3191 and report the activity.
For more information on fireworks safety tips, please visit the National Fire Prevention Association's website.