The Fourth of July often means ringing in the summer with a bang and lots of fireworks.
Local police officials said enjoying a firework display at home is fine, but urge residents to use common sense, courtesy and safe practices.
“The biggest thing to remember when choosing to shoot fireworks is that they are dangerous,” Boaz Police Chief Josh Gaskin said. They are explosives.
“Use caution when using them. People really need to use common sense.”
Boaz has a citywide ordinance restricting the sale and use of fireworks to two times each year: June 20 to July 5 and Dec. 10 to Jan. 2.
“We don’t have any time restrictions, but we ask residents to be courteous of others,” Gaskin said.
“The majority of complaints we get is about people shooting them off after about 11 p.m.
“Remember not everyone has the weekend off. Not everyone has a day job. Not everyone has a night shift job. Try to keep others’ lives in mind.”
Albertville Police Chief Jamie Smith agreed.
“Think of your neighbors,” he said. “We all want to celebrate the holiday and enjoy ourselves. Have some common courtesy for your neighbors.”
While Albertville has no ordinance against fireworks, other laws may be applied to certain situations. For example, Smith said a noise ordinance may be applied to a call if residents are in violation by setting off too many fireworks or setting off fireworks at an odd or late night hour.
Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims said the county doesn’t have an ordinance against fireworks, but reiterated common sense and common courtesy should be the order of the day.
If you and your family choose to shoot fireworks this holiday, follow these safety tips provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
• Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals. The most common firework related injuries are burns.
• Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
• Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully. About 30% of all fireworks related accidents involve injuries to the hands and fingers.
• Never point or throw fireworks at another person.