Lincoln fire crews encouraging safety as new fireworks become available in Nebraska

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 9:24 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Firework sales start June 24 in the state of Nebraska, but in 2021 there will be a few changes.

The goal is to keep the money in Nebraska, and the state has now adopted the federal standard, allowing new explosives across the state.

These new regulations will allow any firework regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Lincoln fire inspectors say the biggest addition will be bottle rockets and are their biggest concern.

Lincoln will still have their own firework laws and sales in the Capital City will begin July 3. Fire inspectors say laws are stricter in Lincoln, and these new fireworks won’t be allowed because of safety concerns.

“In Lincoln we make them illegal for noise abatement purposes, but also because it’s a firework item that’s designed to be propelled into the air and then it omits a flame to cause that to be propelled through the air. If it comes down hot and still has the flame an unwanted fire could be started,” said Lincoln fire inspector, Donald Gross.

Firefighters say they’re expecting these newly legal fireworks to cause more fires and injuries. According to Lincoln fire inspectors, last year was the third highest number of injuries documented in the Capital City during the July 4 holiday.

On average there are 19,000 fires and 9,000 firework injuries in the United States a year, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Lincoln fire inspectors say the majority of injuries are caused when someone doesn’t use the firework correctly, or uses them too close with others. They suggest people read the instructions before lighting fireworks, and establish a separate viewing area away from the person lighting the firework.

“So those are typically the type of injuries that we have, burns to the hands, feet or debris in the eyes. All of those can be avoided by people using these firework materials in the way they’re designed to be used,” said Gross.

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