After a three-year pause, the free Labor Day fireworks display sponsored by Visit Hot Springs will return this Sunday on Lake Hamilton.
Starting at 8:40 p.m., people can gather in the grassy area at the first Highway 7 bridge opposite the DoubleTree Hotel. Those who want to watch from the water are asked to keep a safe distance from the fireworks launching from barges in the middle of Lake Hamilton.
The fireworks will be synchronized with music on radio station 97.5 FM US97 when fans watch the display. In case of rain, the fireworks will be held Monday, September 6.
Organized firework displays are the only use of fireworks permitted within the city limits. The use of independent fireworks are prohibited inside the city limits of Hot Springs. Anyone found in violation could be fined up to $500. For those who would rather shoot their own firework show, travel outside of the city limits to do so.
The Post spoke with 70 West Fire Department Chief Autumn Carlisle on the topic of safe firework shooting just a few months back for the Fourth of July, and her safety tips remain the same.
Carlisle said it's always a good idea before purchasing and planning to use fireworks to check with local authorities to make sure they are not banned from use in your area or verify that there are no fire restrictions in place that would prevent them from being used. Also, be mindful if your county has curfews to not discharge fireworks after the curfew or noise ordinance cut off time.
Some laws she provided that pertain to the use of fireworks are:
It is unlawful to explode or ignite fireworks within 600 feet of any church, hospital, asylum, public school, or within 200 feet of where fireworks are stored, sold, or offered for sale.
No person shall ignite or discharge any permissible articles fireworks within or throw from a motor vehicle while therein, nor shall any person throw ignited article of fireworks into a motor vehicle or at any person or group of people.
Fireworks should also not be discharged in any mailbox. Your mailbox belongs to the United States Postal Service (USPS) and it is a federal offense to tamper with a mailbox or the items in it. There are significant penalties for violating this Federal law.
Additionally, a few safety tips Carlisle provided are:
Fireworks should only be used outdoors. You should make sure that areas you will be shooting off the fireworks are clear of flammables. If no hard surface is available and you are using a grassy field, make sure that the field has been mowed and wet down and is not dry.
Make sure your pets are safely secured indoors or in a fenced area. More pets go missing on July 4 than any other day of the year. They do not like the noise and panic. If they are not put up, make sure they have a collar with your contact information so you can be reunited if they run away.
Have a designated adult to be the firework shooter. They should be aware of how each firework will perform and make sure they have a safe area to light the firework and quickly/safely get back before it discharges.
Adults supervise teens if they are using fireworks. Outside of adults (ages 25-44), teens are the group that sustain the most firework related injuries annually.
Young children should not be allowed to handle fireworks. Even sparklers reach 1200 degrees and can be a major burn hazard.
Alcohol and Fireworks are a dangerous combination. Reduce injury by remaining sober and consume alcohol after the show.
Do not hold any firework in your hand unless specifically stated in the caution label.
Only light one firework at a time.
Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and soak it in a bucket of water.
Used fireworks should be soaked with water and placed in a non-flammable trash can outside and several feet away from the house, garage, outbuildings, decks, or any flammable materials.
Do not use homemade fireworks, professional fireworks, or any illegal explosives — they can kill you.