FLORENCE, Ala. (June 23, 2016) – As West Virginians gear up for the Fourth of July, TNT® Fireworks – the nation’s largest distributor of consumer fireworks and sparklers – urges families and individuals to play it safe when celebrating our nation’s independence.
With the passage HB 2646, West Virginians can now legally purchase and use consumer fireworks, such as Roman Candles and Sky Rockets. This year, TNT will be selling the newly legalized products in more than 70 locations in the Mountain State. More than 60 percent of the TNT stands will be operated by volunteers from non-profit organizations, schools, churches, civic groups and clubs who partner with TNT to raise funds for their cause.
“As we commemorate this national holiday, it’s important to know how to use fireworks properly,” says Tommy Glasgow, President of TNT Fireworks. “We recommend guidelines from the American Pyrotechnics Association to safely light up the sky.”
These guidelines include the following tips:
• Never consume alcohol when using fireworks.
• Never let children handle fireworks or sparklers.
• Read and follow the directions on the labels. The vast majority of injuries result from the misuse of fireworks.
Only buy legal fireworks from a licensed seller. An estimated 40 percent of fireworks-related injuries are caused by federally banned illegal explosives such as M-80s, Quartersticks and other homemade explosive devices.
• Store fireworks in a cool, dry place – out of the reach of children and pets.
• Never carry a firework in your pocket or hold a lit firework in your hand.
• Never shoot fireworks from a metal or glass container.
• Keep spectators at a safe distance.
• Always wear safety glasses when igniting fireworks.
• Don’t aim or throw fireworks at another person.
• Never place any part of your body directly over a firework device – even when lighting.
• Only use consumer fireworks away from homes, buildings and dry grass – on a flat, level, hard, fireproof surface, such as concrete, that is free from debris.
• Have a working garden hose and/or bucket of water nearby in case of emergencies.
• When finished, allow used fireworks to stand for at least 20 minutes, submerge in water, drain, place in a plastic bag and dispose outside in a covered trash container.
• Light only one firework at a time.
• Never approach or try to re-ignite a firework that doesn’t light the first time.
• Protect your pets. Animals are often frightened by the sounds of fireworks. Protect your “best friends” by keeping them indoors, secure and away from the loud, sudden noises.
• Always check with your local city and county governments as there may be certain areas where consumer fireworks are not permitted.
According to HB 2646, 75 percent of the tax revenue generated from the sale of fireworks will support veterans’ programs within West Virginia – and the remaining 25 percent will be allocated to the Fire Protection Fund, which helps support volunteer fire departments.
Consumer fireworks now legal in West Virginia include:
• Sky Rockets and Bottle Rockets
• Missile-Type Rockets
• Helicopter and Aerial Spinners
• Roman Candles
• Multi-Aerial Mine and Shell Devices
• Aerial Shell Kits
West Virginians can also continue to celebrate using hand-held sparklers and ground-based sparkling devices. These have been legal in West Virginia since 2006.
“From all of us at TNT, we wish West Virginians a very safe, happy and sparkling Fourth of July,” Glasgow says.