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The recent storms that recently tore through the Arklatex left a lot of damage in its wake.  With hurricane force winds that reached up to 80MPH, trees and utility poles were snapped in two, and in some cased simply torn from the ground, roots and all.

Mike Martindale
Mike Martindale

Clean up from the storms is still taking place as residents are having to remove trees from homes, cut up trees, limbs and branches, and stack them along the streets for pickup.  Most of the debris is still on the side of the streets as the city is making preparations to have it removed.  Shreveport Mayor Tom Arceneaux is asking residents to be patient as the city negotiates with private companies to come and remove the debris.

Mike Martindale
Mike Martindale

But all of that cut wood, consisting of huge limbs, branches, tree trunks and leaves, has been sitting on the side of the roads with very little rain for a couple weeks now, has been drying, causing an increased fire hazard.  Normally not a major concern, but tomorrow being the 4th of July, fireworks started over the weekend.

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Mayor Arceneaux decided not to cancel the abiltity for private citizens to enjoy fireworks this year, but rather is asking residents to enjoy them safely, with the understanding that there might be an increased risk of fires with all of the debris still lying around.

Fireworks Safety Numbers

According to a recent study from, fireworks injuries have increased 26% since 2018. But fireworks injuries are, for the most part, preventable. According to their report:

  • Injuries due to fireworks increased by 367% among adults ages 45 to 64.
  • Women saw an increase of 75% in injuries due to fireworks, while injuries for men increased by only 39%.
  • Nearly 74% of all fireworks-related injuries happened between June 18, 2021, and July 18, 2021.
  • Firecrackers were the leading cause of emergency room visits, with a total of 1,500 injuries.
  • Sparkler injuries increased by 120%, while Roman candle injuries decreased by 50%.


Tips for Enjoying Fireworks Safely

But there are things you can do to help mititgate the risk of becoming another 4th of July statistic.  According to the Department of Homeland Security, here are Ten Safety Tips to make sure you have a safe, and Happy 4th of July

  1. Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water/hose nearby in case of accidents.
  2. Designate a safety perimeter. If you have ground-based fireworks like a fountain, spectating from at least 35 feet away is best. For aerial fireworks, you’ll want everyone to move back to a distance of around 150 feet.
  3. Ditch faulty fireworks. Sometimes fireworks don’t go off, but duds always pose a risk. The important thing to know is that you should never try to relight or approach a failed firework. Let duds sit for 5 -10 minutes before you put them in a bucket of water. This can prevent injury from a delayed explosion and disarm the firework permanently so you can safely dispose of it.
  4. Supervise children when they are handling sparklers. Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet or touching body parts.
  5. Don’t forget about your pets! Fireworks can be extremely stressful for pets, but there are ways to help reduce their fear and anxiety. Keep your pets indoors. Close the curtains or blinds and turn on the TV or radio to provide some distraction. Treat toys filled with their favorite food (frozen pumpkin puree, peanut butter, and apple sauce are good options) may also help keep their minds busy and distract them from the fireworks.
  6. Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
  7. Never place a part of your body directly over a firework or hold a firework in your hand when lighting. To safely light fireworks, make sure they are secured on the ground away from people and animals and use a stem lighter such as a grill lighter.
  8. Only light one firework at a time. Lighting multiple fireworks at the same time increases the risk of accidents occurring from the fuse burning faster than designed.
  9. Avoid alcohol consumption when handling or using fireworks. This should be pretty self-explanatory.
  10. Consider safe alternatives to fireworks such as party poppers, bubbles, silly string, or glow sticks.

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