Jenks Fire Chief discusses firework safety as July 4 arrives

Jenks Fire Chief discusses firework safety as July 4 arrives

July 4 is one of the most exciting times of the year, as we as a nation get to celebrate our independence.

However, the main way Americans celebrate their freedom is considered one of the most dangerous activities a person can do.

Fireworks are fun, exciting and most of the time beautiful to look at, but Jenks Fire Chief Greg Ostrum said they can be very dangerous.

“The best firework safety is to leave it to the professionals,” Ostrum said. “This has been our stance for a long time. Every year, approximately 20,000 fires in the United States are started from fireworks. There are nearly 10,000 firework-related injuries in the United States every year. The danger always goes up around the Fourth of July because of how dry it usually is, and it is no different this year. Most firework injuries come from the fireworks that most people deem to be the safest.”

Ostrum said if you are going to use fireworks personally, make sure the surface where you are lighting them is not flammable and to make sure the firework is safe to throw away because a lot of fires occur after the fireworks happen.

For example, sparklers are a fan favorite when talking about personal use fireworks, but there are many sparkler-related injuries every year, according to Ostrum. The fire chief recommends using glow sticks instead of sparklers because sparklers get up to 1,200 degrees.

Other July 4 celebration recommendations instead of fireworks include noise makers, an outdoor movie night, red, white, and blue silly string, patriotic crafting with the family or throwing a birthday party for the United States.

“More than 44% of burns throughout one year happen around the July 4 holiday,” Ostrum said. “Children ages 10-14 have the highest rate of firework-related injury.”

The City of Jenks is allowing fireworks to be used from noon to 11 p.m. July 3 and noon to 11 p.m. July 4. The entire Jenks Fire Department will be working July 4 to help with the events in town and be ready to take calls if an accident occurs within the city.

Kyle Salomon

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