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Posted on: June 21, 2022

CELEBRATE SAFELY DURING 4TH OF JULY HOLIDAY

CITY OF MCCOOK FIRE DEPARTMENT 

PRESS RELEASE

CELEBRATE SAFELY DURING 4TH OF JULY HOLIDAY

 The City of McCook Fire Department wants to remind all City residents to celebrate safely during the Independence Day holiday.  If you are planning on using your own fireworks, use only legal consumer fireworks and only during the permitted times.

 The City of McCook Fire Department allows consumer fireworks to be discharged during the following dates and times:

  •  June 23rd – July 3rd:                       8:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.
  • July 4th:                                             8:00 a.m. until 11:59 p.m.
  • July 5th:                                             8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. 

Fireworks maybe sold June 28 through July 4 during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and December 28 through December 31 during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

 Fireworks are a beloved tradition on Independence Day and using them requires care to prevent personal injuries and fires.  The City of McCook Fire Department would like to remind you about important safety considerations while using fireworks.  The Nebraska State Fire Marshal is encouraging Nebraskans to abide by the following Firework Safety Tips:

 Do’s

  • Before purchasing or using fireworks, make sure they are permitted in your state or area.
  • Read and follow all warning instructions printed on labels before using any fireworks.
  • Store fireworks in a dry, cool place.  Check instructions for special storage directions.  Never carry fireworks in your pockets.
  • Use a punk to ignite the fireworks.  Punks burn without an open flame and provide a greater, safer distance between your hand and the fireworks.  Open flames from lighters and matches can cause additional fire hazards and should be kept out of the hands of children.  Care still needs to be taken when using punks to avoid burns.
  • Make sure an adult is always present when fireworks are in use.  Young children should never be allowed to use fireworks under any circumstances. Older children should only be permitted to use fireworks if closely supervised by an adult.
  • Sparklers, considered by many to be the ideal safe firework for children, burn at very high temperatures and can easily ignite clothing and other materials.  Make sure spent sparklers are disposed of properly and not thrown on the ground where they can be stepped on or that people with lit sparklers do not run with them which could lead to further injuries including burns.
  • Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area, away from houses, dry leaves or grass and flammable liquids.  Only ignite one firework at a time.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that do not go off.
  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
  • Douse firework debris with water before disposing in a garbage can.  Make sure the garbage can is made of metal and not plastic.

 Don’ts:

  • Do not allow any running or horseplay where fireworks are being shot.
  • Never assume an ignited firework that fails to explode is safe to approach.  A delayed explosion injures many people.  Soak them with water and dispose of them in a metal garbage can.
  • Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially one made of glass or metal.
  • Never disassemble fireworks to see how they are made or what is inside.  Never mix anything with the contents to make your own firework.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Never use fireworks inside or in a vehicle.
  • Never ignite fireworks while holding them.
  • Never use fireworks while drinking alcoholic beverages.  Injuries may result from the slowness of response and impaired judgment.

 Be Aware and Cognizant of Weather Conditions 

 Nebraska weather can be unpredictable and change rapidly.  We’ve experienced extremely dry weather conditions and moisture chances continue to be low.  

The City of McCook Fire Department strongly encourages the citizens of McCook to check weather conditions and forecasts prior to setting off fireworks.  The fire department uses the National Weather Service website (www.weather.gov) prior to issuing any open burn permits and encourages using the same website for safe use of fireworks.  

 Fireworks are strongly discouraged during the following weather conditions:

 Fire Weather Watch:

 A Fire Weather Watch or Red Flag Warning is issued when the combination of dry fuels and weather conditions support extreme fire danger.  The criteria for Fire Weather Watch and Red Flag Warning include:

  •  Sustained winds of 20 mph or higher.
  •  Afternoon relative humidity less than 25%.
  • 10-hour fuel moisture at 8% or less in one day.

 A Fire Weather Watch is issued up to 72 hours before the above conditions are expected to occur.  

 A Red Flag Warning is issued when the conditions above are expected to occur or are occurring within the next 24 hours.

 Red Flag Warning:

 Primary Red Flag Criteria:

 Relative humidity of 15% or less combined with sustained surface winds, or frequent gusts, of 25 mph or greater.  Both conditions must occur simultaneously for at least 3 hours in a 12-hour period.

 Wind Advisory: 

A wind advisory is generally issued by the National Weather Service when there are sustained non-thunderstorm winds of 31-39 miles per hour and/or gusts of 46-57 miles per hour over land.  Winds over the said cap with trigger high wind alerts rather than a wind advisory.

 High Wind Watch: 

Sustained, strong winds are possible.  Secure loose outdoor items and adjust plans as necessary so you’re not caught outside.  A High Wind Watch is issued when the following conditions are possible: 1) sustained winds of 40 mph or higher for one hour or more. OR. 2) wind gusts of 58 mph or higher for any duration.

 High Wind Warning: 

Sustained, strong winds with even stronger gusts are happening. Seek shelter.  If you are driving, keep both hands on the wheels and slow down.  A High Wind Warning is issued when the following conditions are expected:  1) sustained winds of 40 mph or higher for one hour or more.  OR 2) wind gusts of 58 mph or higher for any duration.

The City of McCook Fire Department is committed to making sure the Independence Day holiday is safe and enjoyable for everyone.   We are asking our citizens to follow the above-mentioned safety tips to minimize the risks of fires and injuries.   With the help of our citizens, we all can plan a safe and enjoyable holiday.

 For more information concerning firework safety, feel free to contact the fire department at 308-345-5710.

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