Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Fourth of July firework safety

link Courtesy photo: U.S. Air Force

27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

Independence Day is almost here, which means celebrations with family, friends, patriotic desserts and explosion based entertainment in the form of fireworks.

These exciting booms of red and white can be dangerous when not burned properly. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, more than 9,000 people are seriously injured due to fireworks and around 20,000 fires are started every year due to misuse.

“Misusing fireworks can lead to severe burns, disfigurement and even death,” said Bruce Ford, 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron chief of fire prevention.

To avoid any accidents that may occur, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, has a strict no fireworks policy that also includes base housing at Chavez West. Curry County has also enforced bans against the use of personal fireworks upon its residents.

Air Force members who do not live on or in any of these restricted areas and wish to enjoy a fireworks show are advised to follow these safety tips:

• Make sure the area in which you are setting off fireworks has been sprayed down with a hose before and after lighting the fireworks.

• Follow the instructions on the package.

• Monitor children at all times.

• Never shoot off any device that has an explosion range of higher than six feet.

• Watch for duds; if a firework does not explode, do not touch it. Give your dud a wide berth for at least one to two hours.

• Have the numbers to all emergency services on hand.

The cities of Clovis and Portales offer annual fireworks shows. Clovis hosts Smoke on the Water at the Greene Acres Park, and Portales holds Smokin’ Fourth of July Bash at the Greyhound Arena. Air Commandos are encouraged to enjoy these events rather than put themselves at risk.

“Go enjoy the entertainment downtown,” said Ford, “Let the professionals set off the fireworks. Using your own is dangerous and the consequences can outweigh the rewards."

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