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Published: Tuesday, 7/1/2014

Officials urge caution with sparklers, other fireworks

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Perrysburg area fire chiefs want to make sure residents are safe when celebrating the Fourth of July this year, which includes being careful with sparklers.

National Fire Protection Agency statistics show that sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees, said Jeff Klein, Perrysburg fire chief. Glass melts at 900 degrees, he said.

“So, (sparklers) should be used with caution and children should have adult supervision -- adults without alcohol,” he said.

Perrysburg Township Fire Chief Tom Brice suggests having buckets of water nearby so that sparklers or smoke bombs and snakes can be doused afterward.

He has heard about people getting burns from sparklers and other homemade fireworks and he hopes to avoid that for this year‘s holiday celebrations.

Both chiefs recommend to go to a professional show if residents want to see fireworks explode in the sky. The Perrysburg-Maumee bridge fireworks will be at dusk on Thursday.

“You should see the difference of how they put together commercial fireworks to homemade ones,” Chief Klein said, noting differences in the lengths of wicks and in quality control.

The City of Perrysburg fire department could get calls on fires from people using fireworks at home, and usually alcohol is involved, Chief Klein said. It has been relatively dry and sparks may land in dry leaves in gutters that quickly become flammable, for example, he said. 

Even though fireworks are legal to purchase, it is illegal to discharge them in the state. Chief Brice says that can confuse some residents. 

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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