Think of safety, rules and others when lighting fireworks

A common tradition to celebrate Independence Day is to gather and set off fireworks.

But before you start lighting fuses, listening to the booms and watching the colors and smoke, there’s plenty to consider if you ask Seymour Fire Chief Brad Lucas.

Lucas said residents should first consider safety and other people before they begin to set off fireworks.

“There’s always two things I think of right off the bat,” he said. “I think of veterans and pets. I think people should be considerate of those.”

Lucas said booming sounds of fireworks can trigger a veteran’s post traumatic stress disorder for those with condition and it also can bring up painful memories.

As for pets, Lucas said many animals are terrified of the sounds that fireworks make.

Citizens should also follow the rules this time of year while lighting fireworks, he said.

Seymour permits the discharge of fireworks from 10 a.m. to midnight on July 4 each year.

The city also allows fireworks to be set off between the 5 p.m. and two hours after sunset June 29 through July 3 and July 5 through July 9.

Seymour’s ordinance also allows for a fine up to $2,500 for violations, according to city ordinance.

Lucas does have a number of tips to help the public during the holiday.

He said the safest, most considerate option is attending the city and Lannett Co. Inc.’s celebration at Freeman Field.

“It’s always a good show, and that way you can let the professionals handle it,” Lucas said.

But if you decide to move forward and set off your own fireworks, Lucas said you should start by making sure everyone is a safe distance away from where fireworks will be set off and to have a fire suppressant nearby.

“Either a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water is needed,” he said.

Those who are lighting fireworks also need to make sure they are in an open space and follow directions printed on the packaging of each item. Residents should also consider which way the wind is blowing and where debris may end up.

“These things are unpredictable and can backfire and do things they’re not supposed to do,” he said.

If a firework is a dud, Lucas said they should be tossed away and should not be lit again.

Only one firework should be lit at a time, too.

“That’s never a good idea, and people should let the fireworks do their own thing before lighting another,” he said.

Do not consume alcohol before lighting fireworks, Lucas warned.

“Drinking and fireworks is not a good combination,” he said.

Fireworks also were the cause of 230 injuries throughout the state last year, he said.

While there are not injuries every year, Lucas said there have been some in the city in the past. There also have been fires started by fireworks at homes.

“Mulch fires are the biggest concern because it dries out quickly, will catch fire and then go up the side of a home,” Lucas said.

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Hours for lighting firework:

Seymour permits the discharge of fireworks from 10 a.m. to midnight on July 4 each year. 

The city allows fireworks to be let off between the hours of 5 p.m. and two hours after sunset on June 29 through July 3 and July 5 through July 9.