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Fire Chief advises on safe firework use for a fun holiday

Posted on July 2, 2019

El Dorado Fire Chief Chad Mosby is gearing up for the Fourth of July holiday this week, warning El Dorado residents against unsafe fireworks usage.

The most important thing for El Dorado residents to remember, he said, is that fireworks are not legal inside of city limits. While there are currently no burn bans in effect in any part of the state, fire prevention still depends on safe usage.

“If you’re going to pop fire works, you need to find a place outside of the city limits to do that,” he said. “Once you find yourself a place outside of town that you can pop fireworks, people need to know to be really, really careful.”

Mosby said those who do wish to shoot fireworks should find a safe place in the county to do so. Once there, it is important to exercise an abundance of caution, no matter how many times before one has used fireworks.

For adults, it is important to refrain from using fireworks if alcohol has been consumed.

“You shouldn’t mix alcohol and fireworks; it’s a pretty bad combination,” Mosby said. “It may end up in significant injury or fire.”

For children celebrating the holiday with fireworks, Mosby said it is important that adults, noting that supervising adults, even if they are not personally handling fireworks, also need to be sober.

“That goes back to the responsible adult thing,” he said, adding that an adult should also examine any fireworks that are to be shot.

“Make sure that the type of fireworks that they’re using is not going to cause a fire; even though it’s been raining quite a bit, there’s still some opportunities for leaves, pine straw, stuff like that to catch on fire,” he said.

Mosby also stressed the importance of using fireworks according to their directions. He said one should never hold a firework in their hands, including fireworks advertised as child-friendly, like sparklers or Roman candles.

“There’s probably more injuries caused by fireworks on the Fourth of July than anything else on those particular days, because people will try to light fireworks and hold them and that kind of thing,” Mosby said.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2013, fireworks caused an estimated 15,600 reported fires in the United States, resulting in an estimated $21 million in direct property damage. From June 20 to July 20 of 2014, more than one-third of emergency room visitors were there for injuries from fireworks.

“Even what most people would consider your kidfriendly fireworks … have the potential to really, really hurt people. Roman candles have been known to blow up in people’s hands and sparklers have been known to give full-thickness (third-degree) burns. They burn at very, very high temperatures.”

Mosby concluded saying he hopes to see everyone stay safe and have a happy Independence Day.

“On behalf of all the men and women at the Fire Department, we hope that everyone has a wonderful and happy Fourth of July and mainly we just hope everyone enjoys themselves and stays safe,” Mosby said.

Caitlan Butler can be reached at 870-862-6611 or