Celebrate Independence Day Safely
June 29, 2016
On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the original 13 colonies, declaring independence from England and setting the groundwork for the creation of the United States of America. President John Adams wrote a letter to his wife, Abigail, saying “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.”
Many Arkansans have traditions that include family picnics and fireworks displays. Some attend one of the large displays across the State. But other Arkansans put on their own displays, including firecrackers, Roman candles and illuminating torches.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to remind Arkansans to keep safety in mind when using fireworks this Independence Day.
“Fireworks are a traditional part of Fourth of July celebrations around Arkansas,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “But those who decide to put on their own displays need to use caution because fireworks can be extremely dangerous when not used properly. Improper use or malfunctioning fireworks can lead to fires, particularly with recent dry conditions, along with serious injuries and even death.”
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips for consumers who are planning their own holiday fireworks show:
- Only buy fireworks from a licensed store, tent or stand.
- Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area.
- Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
- Supervise children at all times and make sure adults light every firework, including sparklers, which can reach 2,000 degrees.
- Make sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Never relight a malfunctioning firework. Soak the duds in water and throw them away.
- Do not shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers.
- Keep a water hose or bucket of water nearby in case of a fire.
Arkansas’s “Fireworks Act” restricts the types of fireworks that can be sold in the State and the amount of explosive material that each firework may contain.
Firework vendors are required to have a State license. They may not sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 12 or to anyone who appears to be intoxicated. Municipal ordinances may also restrict or regulate fireworks sales and use.
State law only allows exploding fireworks to be sold each year from June 20 to July 10 and from Dec. 10 to Jan. 5. Non-exploding items, such as sparklers and snakes, may be sold throughout the year.
For more information about other consumer-related issues or to file a consumer complaint, contact the Attorney General's office at (800) 482-8982 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.