From staff reports
JEFFERSON COUNTY – With the Fourth of July drawing closer, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has offered up some safety tips for those planning on taking part in firework detonation.
The sheriff’s office urges people not to drink and drive, as deputies will be patrolling each community in Jefferson County with a priority on keeping drunk drivers off the roadways.
“The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office wants you to have a safe and fun holiday celebration. Do not drink and drive,” read a press release. “Deputies will be patrolling our neighborhoods and communities over the holiday, watching for drunk drivers and to insure everyone celebrates responsibly.”
Authorities encourage citizens to enjoy firework shows that are operated by professionals, instead of buying and lighting fireworks outside of a professional environment.
“In the event that you purchase fireworks for yourself, you should know the law and follow these safety tips,” wrote the sheriff’s office.
Its safety tips include the following: Use fireworks outdoors only. Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them. Always have water handy. Only use fireworks as intended. Don’t try to alter them or combine them. Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
According to State Law Section 8-17-222, it is illegal to sell fireworks to children under the age of 16 or to intoxicated or irresponsible persons. A child under the age of 16 can lawfully purchase fireworks if accompanied by an adult.
“Any person purchasing fireworks shall be required to show a valid driver’s license or state approved identification card,” read the press release. “It shall be unlawful to explode or ignite fireworks within 600 feet of any church, hospital, asylum, public school, any enclosed building, or within 200 feet of where fireworks are stored, sold, or offered for sale.”
The law also states that no person shall ignite any firework while in a motor vehicle. It also prohibits people from discharging any fireworks into or at a motor vehicle.
Authorities encourage people not to drink and light fireworks. They ask pedestrians to assign a “designated shooter”, who wears safety glasses, and for spectators to keep a safe distance from that shooter.