MacDill encourages firework safety for a safe, happy Fourth

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tori Schultz
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, is fast approaching. Many families and friends are planning what fireworks they want and where to ignite them. While the holiday may be an exciting time to get together and celebrate, safety must be a top priority.

Since June 1, 2015, there have been three reported mishaps in the Air Force causing 19 lost work days due to fireworks. In the U.S., approximately 46 percent of fireworks injuries involve hands and fingers, followed by 17 percent involving the eyes, head, face and ears; more than half of these injuries were burns.

Safety officials recommend only lighting fireworks on the ground and in damp, fire resistant areas. Users should never point lit sparklers or fireworks at themselves or others. Always keep a portable fire extinguisher close by and a water hose or bucket of water to put out fires. Never disassemble or try to make your own fireworks.

“We recommend that if you do not have specific training with fireworks, then do not use them,” said David O’Neil, a safety specialist with the 6th Air Mobility Wing Safety Office. “Fireworks can do severe damage to a person if they don’t know the exact safety precautions to take.”

Location is also a priority when lighting fireworks. Legally, individuals are not allowed to use them on base.

According to MacDill AFB Instruction 32-106, paragraph 76, “Fireworks of any description will not be used within the confines of MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, except for holiday purposes and only upon approval of the base fire chief. Only licensed and bonded personnel will handle the fireworks.

If you would like to watch a fireworks show, the Tampa Bay area has many events to choose from. Holiday celebrations can be seen in the skies over: Channelside Bay Plaza, Tampa Fla., Plant City Stadium, Plant City, Fla., Downtown St. Pete, Fla., and Coachman Park, Clearwater, Fla.