Smithfield, UT — Effective immediately, the use of fireworks is prohibited on the east sides of both Hyde Park and Smithfield.
Smithfield Fire Chief Jay Downs said the extreme heat combined with dry vegetation on the hills and benches in and around both communities have created a dangerous situation for potential fires. This, he explained, prompted the decision by both cities to impose fire restrictions.
In Smithfield, the restrictions include areas north of Center Street, east of 200 East, and south of Center Street, east of 800 East. In Hyde Park, the restrictions include all of the areas above 400 East.
“We don’t like to restrict people from using fireworks,” said Chief Downs, “but the conditions are simply too dangerous to allow their use in these areas this year.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association:
<ul> <li>Fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires in 2011, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.</li> <li>In 2011, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,600 people for fireworks related injuries; 61% of 2010 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 34% were to the head.</li> <li>Sparklers, fountains and novelties alone accounted for 34 percent of the emergency room fireworks injuries in 2011.</li> </ul>
In fact, sparklers, which are often given to children to play with during the holidays, burn at temperatures of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which can cause serious and disfiguring burns.
Smithfield Battalion Chief Mike Weibel said the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by professionals. But if people are going to discharge fireworks themselves, he recommended following a few safety tips:
<ul> <li>Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.</li> <li>Make sure you’re not in an area where fireworks are restricted.</li> <li>Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances.</li> <li>Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.</li> <li>Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.</li> </ul>
For more information, visit <a href=”http://www.smithfieldfire.org/”>www.smithfieldfire.org</a>