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Fire chief outlines Independence Day safety tips

Jared Upwall displays some of the many fireworks that are for sale in Price.

By COLLIN MCRANN
Sun Advocate writer

With July 4th rapidly approaching and Pioneer Day following close on the national holiday's heels, fireworks stands have sprung up in Price.

But there are many statewide rules governing fireworks and where the devices may be legally used.

In Carbon County and across Utah, the only fireworks allowed are the fountain types, sparklers and nothing that explodes, according to Jared Upwall of the One way Ministries fireworks stand in Price.

"We don't sell anything that goes above six feet and there is a big fine if someone is caught with illegal fireworks," said Upwall.

According to Price Fire Chief Paul Bedont, the fines for violating the restrictions can range from $500 up to $1,000 along with criminal and civil charges.

Fireworks can be purchased from June 19 until July 26.

The devices may be discharged three days prior and three days after July 4th as well as July 24th.

"Fireworks are dangerous," emphasized Bedont "There are millions of dollars in damage from them every year."

Most of the fines come from fireworks that are classified as illegal because the devices don't meet Utah's standards.

"Some might bring stuff in from Wyoming and,while some of it will meet the standards, most of it won't," said Bedont.

In Utah, no firework can exceed the length of 15 feet horizontally, or vertically, and nothing can explode.

Bedont and state officials encourage Carbon County residents to consider several safety tips while celebrating the upcoming holidays.

The recommendations include:

•The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public displays put on by professionals who are licensed and know how to safely handle fireworks.

•People who plan to use fireworks should make sure the devices are legal in the local area.

•People should never light fireworks indoors or near fields or open areas with dry brush.

•While igniting fireworks, people should always have a bucket of water, a hose line and/or an extinguisher

People should also know how to properly operate the fire extinguisher.

•People should not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.

The sparks can easily fall under clothing and cause clothes to burn.

•Carbon County residents should stand several feet away from lighted fireworks.

If fireworks do not go off, people should douse with water and carefully dispose of the devices.

•Occasionally fireworks malfunction so local residents should take precautions to protect their eyes.

•People should always read the directions and warning labels on fireworks. Fireworks that are not marked with the contents, directions and warning labels should never be ignited.

•Carbon County residents should supervise children around fireworks at all times.




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