According to the Nebraska State Fire Marshal's Office, from June 25 through July 5, 2013, there were 170 injuries that were fireworks related in Nebraska. Males accounted for 111 of the injuries and 49 females were injured. (There were 11 injuries for which information was not collected.)
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals. However, if you are planning to light fireworks, the Nebraska Safety Council urges you to follow these simple and easy safety tips:
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place
- Always read and follow the directions on the label
- Use fireworks outdoors in a safe, non-wooden area
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
- Keep everyone a safe distance away from fireworks
- Have a working garden hose or bucket of water handy
- Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never re-ignite a firework that doesn't light the first time or one that has finished its display
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
CITY CODES FOR FIREWORKS IN LANCASTER COUNTY
City Code: 9.44.080 - Permissible Fireworks; Sale and Use Only on July 3 and July 4; Hours of Use Restricted.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell at retail or offer to sell at retail any permissible fireworks within the City of Lincoln except from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 3 and from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on July 4 of each year.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge, explode, or use any permissible fire-works within the City of Lincoln except from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 3 and from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on July 4 of each year.
The Village of Bennet ordinance allows fireworks to be sold and discharged from June 28 through July 4. During that period, fireworks may only be discharged from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. with the exception of the July 4 holiday, when they can be discharged until midnight.
Fireworks must only be discharged 25 feet from the nearest right of way.
The Village of Firth ordinance allows fireworks to be sold and discharged from June 25 through July 4. During that period, fireworks may not be discharged before 10 a.m. and no later than 10 p.m.
The Village of Hickman ordinance allows fireworks to be discharged from June 25 through June 30 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. From July 1 through July 3 fireworks may be discharged from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and July 4 from 10 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.
The City of Waverly ordinance allows fireworks to be sold from June 25 through July 4. Fireworks may be discharged from 8 a.m. and no later than 11 p.m. On July 4, fireworks may be discharged from 8 a.m. until midnight.
Fireworks can only be purchased within 7 days of July 4.
Seven State Recreation Areas Will Allow Fireworks on July 4
Visitors to seven state recreation areas will be allowed to touch off fireworks on Independence Day, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Those visitors should use extra caution with fireworks wherever dry conditions and high fire hazard exist.
Branched Oak State Recreation Area (SRA) near Malcolm, Fort Kearny SRA near Kearney, Memphis SRA near Memphis, Fremont SRA near Fremont, Two Rivers SRA near Venice, Pawnee SRA near Emerald and Wagon Train SRA near Hickman will permit fireworks from 8 a.m. until midnight on July 4 only. Signs at recreation areas will point the way to designated fireworks sites and their boundaries will be clearly marked. Use of fireworks elsewhere in state areas or at other times is prohibited.
Only fireworks approved for sale in Nebraska by the state fire marshal are permitted, and visitors must dispose of fireworks safely. Minor children must be supervised when discharging fireworks. Use, possession and the discharging of fireworks is at the sole risk of the users.
A park entry permit is required for all vehicles entering SRAs.
Health Advisory in Lancaster County Due to Fireworks Smoke
The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) today issued a Health Advisory for people with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory conditions like COPD due to high levels of smoke from fireworks.
In recent years, LLCHD has found high levels of particulate air pollution from the night of July 3 through the morning of July 5, resulting in the Air Quality Index (AQI) level of “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.” Fireworks may be used in the City of Lincoln from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 3 and
8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. July 4.
“The young, the elderly and others at risk should avoid extensive physical activity outdoors or remain indoors with windows and doors closed,” said Chris Schroeder, LLCHD Air Quality Program Supervisor. “Those who experience health effects should consult their doctor.”
Schroeder said fine particle pollution is so small that it can get deep into the lungs and enter the blood stream, causing serious health problems. He said most people will not be affected, but warned
that even a few hours of exposure to high levels of particles may aggravate lung disease, cause asthma attacks and acute bronchitis, and increase the chances of respiratory infection. For people
with heart disease, short-term exposures to high levels of particle pollution have been linked to angina, heart attacks and arrhythmia.
LLCHD monitors air quality 24 hours a day. The AQI for Lincoln is updated daily and can be found at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: air).
Residents are encouraged to check the AQI the next few days
before doing any strenuous activities outside.
Troopers Increase Patrols over July 4th Holiday
The Nebraska State Patrol continues its efforts to “Drive to Save Lives” with an increased presence over the July 4 Holiday.
Beginning Thursday, July 3 and continuing through Saturday, July 5, troopers and communications specialists will put in overtime hours thanks in part to an $18,960 grant from the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety (NOHS).
Special enforcement efforts will focus on safe driving practices with an emphasis on crash causing behaviors such as speeding, following too closely, impaired and distracted driving. In addition, motorist assist volunteers in specially marked vans will be available to help stranded motorists along Interstate 80 from Kearney to Omaha.
“Increased traffic can be expected on Nebraska roads over the holiday weekend,” said Colonel David Sankey, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “If you are planning to travel, we encourage you to help us save lives by complying with all highway safety laws.”
For more information on specific enforcement activities over the July 4th weekend call your nearest Nebraska State Patrol Troop Area Headquarters.