The July 4 holiday season means home fireworks fun for many households. But that fun should be accompanied by safe, responsible use and respect for neighbors.
In Omaha, the city is limiting fireworks use this year to three days only: Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 11 p.m. daily. Thursday also is the final day to purchase fireworks under the city ordinance.
Omaha officials limit fireworks use because of its divisive nature: The booms bring delight and excitement to many, but irritation and upset to many others. The city has set up a non-emergency number to receive complaints about fireworks that are in progress: (402) 444-5802.
Safe use is imperative, since home fireworks — even sparklers — can cause harm. Nationwide, an estimated 12,900 people suffered fireworks-related injuries in 2017, according to the National Fire Protection Association. More than one-third of the injuries were to children younger than 15.
In Omaha, an individual must be 16 years old to discharge the devices, according to the city ordinance. Minors aged 12 to 15 can use fireworks only if supervised by an adult 19 or older, the city says. The State Fire Marshal’s Office offers safety advice, including:
» Keep children away from fireworks.
» Do not alter fireworks in any way.
» Light fireworks one at a time, on the ground, in a fire-resistant area.
» Never point or throw fireworks at anyone.
It’s an occasion for fireworks fun for many, but don’t let it lead to accidents or hard feelings between neighbors.