Fireworks illegal in St. Mary Parish
St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies will be looking out for impaired drivers and safety concerns in general during the Fourth of July weekend, St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Traci Landry said.
“We do get a couple of complaints of fireworks every year,” Landry said. Fireworks are illegal for anyone to possess, sell or use in St. Mary Parish under parish ordinance. “We can make an arrest for it if we see that that’s necessary,” Landry said.
However, the sale and use of fireworks is legal in Stephensville and throughout St. Martin Parish.
Fireworks, firecrackers, sparklers and rockets that often appear around the Fourth of July can be extremely dangerous, causing severe eye injuries, burns, loss of limbs and, even, death, according to a Teche Regional Medical Center news release. According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 60 percent of all fireworks injuries occur around the Fourth of July, the release stated.
The U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission reported that more than 5,000 people were treated for fireworks-related injuries in hospital emergency rooms in July 2013, the release said. More than 70 percent of injuries were to the eyes, head, face, ears, hands and fingers. Six people died as a result of fireworks-related injuries, according to the release.
“The Fourth of July is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and friends celebrating our country, its history, and our service men and women,” Teche Regional Medical Center CEO Butch Frazier said in the news release. “Unfortunately, emergency rooms across the country see a spike in patients due to fireworks injuries every July. We urge everyone in our community to take precautions to ensure their safety and the safety of their children this year,” Frazier said.
The news release urged residents to refrain from using consumer fireworks at home. Fireworks safety begins by leaving the fireworks shows to the professionals, the release stated. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals. After a fireworks display, do not pick up or attempt to relight fireworks, the release stated.
Teche Regional Medical Center officials also recommend against the use of sparklers. Sparklers can cause very serious injuries. The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is six-times the temperature of boiling water and hot enough to cause third-degree burns, the release said.
For anyone attending a celebration that includes consumer fireworks, Teche Regional Medical Center staff recommended people take the following precautions:
—Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, and ensure that an adult is always present to supervise fireworks activities.
—Keep a bucket of water or hose close by in case of a fire.
—Avoid fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a signal of fireworks that are strictly for professional displays.
—Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
—Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
—Never point or throw fireworks at another person or carry fireworks in your pocket.
—Never shoot off fireworks in metal or glass containers.
—Never attempt to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
—After fireworks complete their burning, douse the fireworks with water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.