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Keep Your 4th Safe, Sane & Local

FYI from BLM for fireworks safety

Published online: Jun 25, 2019 Articles, East Idaho Health, Holidays
Viewed 509 time(s)

[Note: This article was updated on July 1]

Recall the Rapid Creek and Henry’s Creek fires that burned nearly 53,000 acres three years ago? Most of us do. Less on the forefront of our minds, however, is what caused those calamities: illegal fireworks. 

A plethora of licensed, pop-up local sparkler shops can be found in parking lots all over town. They deserve your support far more than some fly-by-night “fire sale” from across the border.

Or, if that’s not enough motivation, consider these words of caution by the Bureau of Land Management to use your incendiaries legally, appropriately and wisely: 

* Use “safe and sane” fireworks, and ignite them in gravel or asphalt areas away from vegetation and buildings. Safe and sane fireworks or “non-aerial common fireworks” remain near the ground and do not travel outside a 20-foot diameter. Safe and sane fireworks include cone fountains, sparklers, wheels and whistles.

* Other fireworks, typically aerial ones, are illegal to shoot off in Idaho. Aerial fireworks present a huge risk for causing wildfires. While these kinds of fireworks may be purchased legally, Idaho law makes their use illegal. Illegal-use fireworks include bottle rockets, sky-rockets, Roman candles, firecrackers, missiles, parachutes, sky flyers, display shells and aerial items.

* Fireworks are only authorized for use during specific times of the year. Check local ordinances for dates you can use fireworks.

* Possessing and/or using fireworks on federal public lands (Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service) is strictly prohibited.

* Anyone misusing fireworks can be held liable for damages. Damages often include the costs of putting out the fire.

“Kids need to know that they can come here and buy all kinds of great fireworks, and that they don’t need to buy a mortar shell or something dangerous just to enjoy the holiday,” said Susan Drouin, a local teacher who runs a TNT Fireworks stand (corner of Holmes and 17th Street) with her husband Gary.

In addition to offering “safe and sane” consumer pyrotechnics, TNT makes it a point to work with local vendors who support local causes.

“We do this for extra money, for a charity or just a personal specific cause,” Drouin said. That includes anything from a cancer fundraiser to extra money for home renovations.

Another thing that separates the company from a lot of the competition is that they offer a dud-free guarantee, so if your fireworks don’t light up, you can bring them back and exchange them, she said.

For more information, contact your local fire department.

Regulations can be read in entirety at Idaho Statutes Title 39 Chapter 26, NFPA 1123, and Forest Service 36 CFR Title 261.

Source material: Bureau of Land Management 

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