Dangers of fireworks spark during heat wave - FOX Carolina 21

Dangers of fireworks spark during heat wave

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Fireworks for sale at a Greenville vendor. (July 1, 2012/FOX Carolina) Fireworks for sale at a Greenville vendor. (July 1, 2012/FOX Carolina)

Fireworks sales may be sparking, but with the ongoing triple-digit heat felt in the Carolinas, Fourth of July revelers will have to keep a close eye on how they celebrate the red hot holiday.

Fireworks are legal and popular, but they can be dangerous - especially during a dry, heat wave. With several days of temperatures higher than 100 degrees, dead and dried out grass is perfect for spreading brush fires.

"You can tell when you walk on the grass that it breaks instead of gives," said Lt. Trent Cason, with the Boiling Springs Fire District. "It's just that dry. And the fire will get away so quickly."

As a deputy fire marshal, Cason said conditions are ripe for a simple spark to cause a lot of problems and fireworks are a big culprit this time of year.

"Most of the time they're started by sparklers, believe it or not, which everybody assumes is safest - they let children handle them," said Cason. "They're really not, they get to about 2,500 degrees."

A local fireworks vendor said he is asking people where they live before they buy to make sure something dangerous doesn't happen.

"If they have a lot of trees, they especially don't need to be shooting certain things around trees, and if they're in a cul de sac, just have a hose pipe ready in case something does happen," said vendor Jamie Knight.

Cason reminds everyone to make sure any contact between a firework and grass, pine needles, dried leaves, or anything like that does not get away before you know it.

Officials said if fireworks are a patriotic party must, be sure to set them off around dirt or asphalt and avoid the grass, also be sure to have fire ready - especially a water hose - just in case.

Firefighters said the best way for people to enjoy fireworks is not to set them off by themselves, but to watch the professional displays held throughout the area. And when you see a good fireworks show this week, be sure to send your holiday pictures to iwitness@foxcarolina.com.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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