Officials urge caution
ahead of fireworks sale
Fireworks go on sale tomorrow, but fire officials are encouraging people to leave the Fourth of July fanfare to the professionals.
"We are hoping that people will go to one of the professional displays instead of setting off fireworks themselves," Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Kenison Tejada said. "Even if you're responsible, accidents happen."
Fireworks Safety Tips
» Use only approved fireworks from a licensed retail outlet.
» Always read and follow warnings and instructions listed by the manufacturer for the safe handling and use of fireworks.
» Never point or throw fireworks at a person, building or animal.
» Never ignite fireworks indoors. Make sure your outdoor area is safe for firework use.
» Fireworks should only be ignited on a smooth, flat surface away from buildings, dry vegetation and flammable materials.
» Have a garden hose or bucket of water ready in the event of a fire.
» Never light fireworks while intoxicated. Have a designated "shooter."
» Wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
» Never attempt to relight malfunctioning fireworks.
» Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
» Never experiment with homemade fireworks. They are dangerous and illegal.
SOURCE: HONOLULU FIRE DEPARTMENT
Public Fireworks Displays
» Waikiki Groin, 7:30-8 p.m. Saturday
» Turtle Bay Resort, 8-9 p.m. Sunday
» Aloha Tower, 8:45-9 p.m. Sunday
» Magic Island, 8-9 p.m. Sunday
» Kailua Beach Park, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Sunday
» Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii, 9-9:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday
» Pearl Harbor, 9-9:30 p.m. Sunday
» Schofield Barracks, 8-9 p.m. Sunday
» Hickam Air Force Base, 9-9:30 p.m. Sunday
Public fireworks displays will be held at a number of locations around the island including Kailua Beach Park, Magic Island and Schofield Barracks.
For those whose Independence Day tradition includes a home fireworks show, Tejada suggests planning ahead for possible mishaps.
"Our biggest concern is that people plan for safety," he said. "People need to know that fireworks are a serious thing. It's really important that people plan for emergencies."
Tejada said keeping a water hose or a bucket of water handy to douse possible fires is the best precaution. He also suggests making sure that everyone celebrating -- not just those handling the fireworks -- knows what to do in case of an emergency.
The sale of fireworks for the Fourth of July begins tomorrow and runs through 9 p.m. Sunday at all licensed retail sites. A permit is required to purchase firecrackers. Permits may be purchased for $25 each at any satellite city hall during normal business hours. On Oahu, fireworks may be set off from 1 to 9 p.m. this Sunday.
Unlike last year, this season has been wet and rainy, a reason for firefighters to be optimistic, Tejada said.
Still, the Fire Department is not taking any chances.
"We're not as concerned about fires as we were last year, but we're still concerned," Tejada said. "We have a contingency plan in place, and we're ready in case something happens."
In addition to a heightened risk of fire, there is always an increase of fireworks-related burns on the Fourth of July, Tejada said, especially among children, who are required by law to have adult supervision while playing with firecrackers.
According to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimate, about 8,000 people are treated each year for fireworks-related injuries; about 40 percent are younger than 15 years old.