Word of the day: Pyrotechnics
1. The art of making or the manufacture and use of fireworks.
2. A display of fireworks.
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Pyrotechnics. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved July 1, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pyrotechnics
Happy Fourth of July! With the countless firework tents set up across the city I'm sure the holiday hasn't slipped your mind, but one thing to remember is that the use of fireworks is prohibited inside the city limits of Hot Springs. Anyone found in violation could be fined up to $500.
This doesn't mean the people of Hot Springs are looking at a firework-less holiday within the city limits. According to a news release from the Hot Springs Fire Department, the city allows commercial fireworks displays, which must follow strict state guidelines and permitting.
Independence Day celebrations occurring near Hot Springs, permitted through the Arkansas State Fire Marshal’s Office and documented with the HSFD, include the following:
• A fireworks display on Lake Hamilton will begin at 9:30 p.m. July 4 near 4903 Central Avenue, Hot Springs. Fireworks will be shot from a barge on Lake Hamilton near the first causeway.
• The 3rd Annual Royal Blast Fireworks Show will begin at 9 p.m. July 4 behind the Sunshine Store at 3719 Sunshine Road, Royal.
For those who would still rather shoot their own fireworks show and travel outside of the city limits to do so, 70 West Fire Department Chief Autumn Carlisle has a few sentiments to share with the community to ensure they enjoy the holiday safely.
"Fireworks are a fun way to celebrate the Independence Day holiday, but they can also be very dangerous," Carlisle said. "Fireworks should be used responsibly, and those who are using them should set a good example for all observers including children, friends and family.
"No one has an enjoyable holiday if a tragic accident lands themselves or a loved one a visit from the fire department or a trip to the emergency room!"
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 to enjoy a safe, fun and happy Fourth of July 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.
"We hope that everyone has a safe, happy and enjoyable Independence Day," Carlisle said. "If you find that you are in an area that has restricted fireworks you can check local media and find one of the large, public displays to attend with your friends and family."