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Tallahassee Fire Department shares tips to avoid firework accidents this Independence Day

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 18:19:43-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Many people may be making plans to bring festivities to their backyards since most firework shows are canceled, so the Tallahassee Fire Department is sharing their ideas for best practices this weekend.

COVID-19 may have canceled professional firework displays, but for many, the virus isn't going to stop their own personal show.

"So we're going to be fully staffed and anticipate a higher volume of calls," said Captain Robert Clary with the Tallahassee Fire Department. "Usually, nationally there's about 19,000 calls."

Clary says they expect extra fireworks being set off at homes this year since people won't be able to watch a professional production.

He says those who plan to light the skies on their own should be cautious.

"You want to be at least 100 yards away from your home firing on a flat surface," Clary said. "Have some water available to put the fire out if a fire does happen. And just be safe and cautious. Use manufacturer specifications when lighting the fireworks. Don't let kids play with fireworks or matches or lighters. And use hand, eye, and ear protection whenever you're using the fireworks."

People shopping for fireworks this year say they plan to keep their distance, for the coronavirus and fireworks safety to make sure no one gets hurt or accidentally sparks a fire.

"We plan to stay socially distanced, sanitized, and have our masks," said Joshua Clark, a fireworks shopper. "We're gonna make sure we keep our distance as we're setting them off house between house."

Tallahassee usually has around five firework-related fire incidents each Fourth of July. The Tallahassee Fire Department hopes to keep that number manageable.