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for Immediate Release
June 26, 2013
State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan
Mary MacCaffrie, Public Education Administrator
NH State Fire Marshal's Office
33 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305

Responsibility is the Key to Fireworks Safety

Concord, NH - Fireworks during the Fourth of July are as American as apple-pie, but according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) two out of five fires reported that day are started by fireworks, more than from any other cause. New Hampshire State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan and the New Hampshire Association of Fire Chief's President and New London Fire Chief Jason Lyon, warn residents that the use of consumer fireworks should be done with extreme vigilance and responsibility. "Fireworks are dangerous and unpredictable", says Marshal Degnan. "The few seconds of pleasure that firework displays may bring to family and friends are not worth the risk of permanent scarring, loss of vision & hearing, dismemberment or even death". Wooded areas, homes, and even automobiles have become engulfed in flames because of fireworks. Chief Lyon says, "A substantial portion of structure fire property loss is due to fireworks typically involving rockets. These rockets can land on rooftops and still retain enough heat to cause a fire." Chief Lyon also warns that, "Sparklers burn at a temperature of more 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. To put this into perspective, water boils at 212°F and glass melts at 900°F." He adds, "Please keep them out of the hands of small children."

Marshal Degnan recommends that public displays conducted by trained professionals are the safest way to enjoy fireworks. However, should you decide to use consumer fireworks Fire Marshal Degnan encourages you to use them with extreme caution.

  • Check your local fire department to make sure that fireworks are permitted in your community.
  • Always follow the specific directions for each item.
  • Be sure to have an extinguishing device readily accessible i.e. water hose, bucket of water, fire extinguisher.
  • Stay the recommended distance away from buildings and viewers and avoid areas with dry brush, grass or debris; flying sparks easily ignite them.
  • Light one item at a time and never inside an enclosed container.
  • NEVER attempt to relight a firework or a non-functioning firework.
  • NEVER allow children to handle fireworks or to pick up leftover fireworks debris off the ground.

Marshal Degnan says, "Everyone wants to enjoy a safe July 4th holiday so please act responsibly!" For more information please refer to our safety information brochures on our website at: Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol.

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