By Derek Frazier
With Fourth of July only one week away, Pontotoc County residents prepare to celebrate the holiday with family outings and gatherings, and of course, with the use of fireworks.
However, Ada Police Department officials are letting residents know the use of fireworks within city limits is prohibited.
"The city prohibits the sale of fireworks and shooting them off," Ada Police Chief Mike Miller said. He also said fines for doing so are in excess of $200.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Oklahoma is just one of 39 states in the nation that allow the use of consumer fireworks. Illinois, Arizona, Iowa, Maine, Ohio and Vermont only allow "sparklers" and other novelties, while Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island ban all consumer fireworks.
Although there currently is not a burn ban in effect for Pontotoc County or the state, Miller still promoted precaution with fireworks. "I would encourage everybody to be careful, because it's still awful dry," he said.
To help consumers use fireworks more safely, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers these recommendations:
— Do not allow young children to play with fireworks under any circumstances. Sparklers, considered by many the ideal "safe" firework for the young, burn at very high temperatures and can easily ignite clothing. Children cannot understand the danger involved and cannot act appropriately in case of emergency.
— Older children should only be permitted to use fireworks under close adult supervision. Do not allow any running or horseplay.
— Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from houses, dry leaves or grass and flammable materials.
— Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that don't go off.
— Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Douse and soak them with water and throw them away.
— Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
— Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
— Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
— Store fireworks in a dry, cool place. Check instructions for special storage directions.
— Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting.
— Don't experiment with homemade fireworks.
By Derek Frazier