Friday, June 28, 2002

Public cautioned as fireworks
go on sale on Oahu

Star-Bulletin staff

Fireworks for the Fourth of July go on sale tomorrow on Oahu.

They can be sold legally until 9 p.m. Thursday.

Buyers need a permit to purchase up to 5,000 firecrackers. Permits can be purchased at satellite city halls for $25.

Officials said fireworks should be purchased from licensed retail outlets only, having a retail license prominently displayed.

Fireworks may be set off Thursday from 1 to 9 p.m.

Aerial fireworks displays can be seen at several locations around the island:
>> Turtle Bay Resort, Wednesday, 8:15-8:45 p.m.
>> Magic Island, Thursday, 8:30-9 p.m.
>> Kailua Beach Park, Thursday, 8-8:30 p.m.
>> Schofield Barracks, Thursday, 8:15-8:45 p.m.

The Honolulu Fire Department recommends the public let professionals explode fireworks as they can be dangerous, causing serious burns and eye injuries.

Each year 8,000 people are treated in emergency rooms for injuries associated with fireworks, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates.

About 55 percent of fireworks-related injuries are burns, and most of the burns involve the hands, eyes and head. Almost 40 percent of victims are under 15.

Firecrackers, rockets and sparklers cause most emergency room-treated injuries.

The Fire Department also asks the public to exercise caution when using fireworks because of dry conditions.

"Once fireworks gets into the hands of the public, and even though they're not supposed to use it until July 4th, we do see brush fires picking up," HFD spokesman Capt. Richard Soo said.

HFD has the following safety tips:
>> Read and follow all manufacturers' warnings and instructions for the safe handling and use of fireworks.
>> Ensure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
>> Have a garden hose or a bucket of water ready in the event of fire.
>> Children should only use fireworks under the direct supervision of an adult.
>> Light fireworks only on a smooth, flat surface away from buildings, dry vegetation and flammable material.
It is unlawful to:
>> Remove or extract pyrotechnic contents.
>> Throw any ignited fireworks from a moving vehicle.
>> Set off fireworks near health care and animal care facilities.
>> Set off fireworks near schools.
>> Set off fireworks on public ways, in parks, cane fields or places of worship.
>> Set off fireworks without a zpermit within 500 feet of any hotel, including the area of Waikiki bounded by Ala Wai Boulevard, Kapahulu Avenue and along the shore to where the Ala Wai Canal meets the ocean.
>> Offer for sale, sell or give fireworks to minors, and for any minor to possess, purchase or set off fireworks. Minors may use fireworks under the immediate supervision of an adult, with permission by parents or guardians.

>> Possess or use aerial fireworks without a public display permit issued by the HFD.

For more information, the public may call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 831-7764 or 831-7765.

E-mail to City Desk


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