Fireworks Safety Tips

Captain Terry Seelig
Captain Terry Seelig

(KHNL) - In 2005, the State Department of Health reported that Oahu emergency rooms treated 37 people for fireworks-related injuries. The Honolulu Fire Department hopes to decrease that number this year. KHNL News 8's Mary Simms, is in Honolulu, finding out safety tips from local firefighters.

MARY SIMMS:   I'm here at the Kakaaka Fire Station which is a historic place, it's actually on the National Register of Historic Places as well as Hawaii's and I'm joined by Captain Terry Seelig and we're talking about fireworks safety.  What are some of the most important things people should remember this holiday?

CAPT. TERRY SEELIG: Well, if all possible, try and enjoy and the public displays.  The public displays by professionals give you your best impression of great fireworks because the ones that consumers can buy are small and require permit and proper use is the key there.  In other words, use them in the right location and use them properly, don't hold them, don't throw them, be safe with them.

MARY SIMMS:   What are some of the things you guys have said in the past that have caused people to have problems with consumer fireworks?

CAPT. TERRY SEELIG: Well, what I've just mentioned.  People take fireworks apart and make a bigger device, that's really,  really dangerous, it's illegal too, but any fireworks that you hold or throw is a risk, you can hurt yourself or others.  Also, lighting them in the right place is a key, we sometimes see people light them in areas that have combustful materials like dry bush or other materials that might catch fire that's a big risk.

MARY SIMMS:  Now they're on sale now and so people can buy fireworks now but you said people can't start putting them off yet.

CAPT. TERRY SEELIG: Right.  The time that you can actually set off your fireworks is from 1 pm to 9 pm on the 4th.  They are on sale now, they started Friday and they continue till 8pm on the 4th.  You need a permit, though.  You'll need a permit to purchase fireworks and the permits are available at the Satellite City Halls which is closed on the 4th so you'll have up until closing time on the 3rd to get your permit.

MARY SIMMS:   Why do you think it's important for people to really remember these safety tips and really put them in action this holiday season as we approach the 4th of July.

CAPT. TERRY SEELIG:  Well, we want people to be safe.  We don't want them to hurt themselves or others so it's important that you respect fireworks, they are dangerous.  They can be use properly for fun but if they are used improperly, they can cause a lot of harm, injury and potential fire risks.