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Fire chief: Be safe this New Year’s Eve

Fire chief: Be safe this New Year’s Eve
Sutherland Springs resident Helen Winslow mans the Mr. W fireworks stand Dec. 26 on U.S. 87 near Witte’s Bar-B-Que and Steakhouse. She’s served the community in this capacity for the past 10 years, stocking community favorites, such as chicken eggs, ladybugs, and killer bees, among other popular fireworks. District 1 Fire/Rescue Chief Chris Thompson urges everyone to enjoy fireworks safely as we welcome a new year. / PASCALLE BIPPERT

Area fireworks vendors have been busy, and District 1 Fire/Rescue Chief Chris Thompson has a few words of advice, as we prepare to welcome a new year.

“-- try and have a bucket of water or [charged] water hose nearby,” the chief told the La Vernia News. “Only use fireworks as they were intended and under adult supervision.”

Thompson shared his thoughts after a weekend incident, in which a Wilson County resident was injured while handling fireworks and was transported by AirLife for medical treatment. Details were not available, but the fire chief urged everyone to celebrate safely.

Here are a few more tips, courtesy of the National Council on Fireworks Safety:

• Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.

• Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save alcohol for after the show.

• Wear safety glasses.

• Light one firework at a time; quickly move away.

• Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area, away from buildings and vehicles.

• Never relight a “dud.” Wait 20 minutes and soak it in a bucket of water.

• Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.

• Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down; place them in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.

Pets and fireworks

Remember to keep pets safe this New Year’s Eve, too!

• Don’t take your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.

• If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.

• Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.

• Never shoot fireworks of any kind -- consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc. -- near pets.

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