Coeur d’Alene Fire Dept. urges safety with fireworks this holiday weekend

COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho – It’s a weekend of celebrating the nation’s independence and those living in Idaho can celebrate by lighting their own fireworks.

The Coeur d’Alene Fire Department says only safe and sane fireworks are allowed to be lit in the Gem State.

Craig Etherton, the public information officer with the department, says safe and sane fireworks include non-aerial fireworks and fireworks that stay on the ground.

“They don’t travel any more than 20 feet in diameter and they don’t spray too high, about 10 to 15 feet high,” Etherton said.

The fire department urges people to only buy legal fireworks to remain safe this holiday weekend. That includes only buying from local stands, which are inspected by the fire department. Etherton said they also look at all the products within those stands to make sure they are legal and follow safety standards.

One of those nine stands in the Lake City includes the Kyes’ stand, where they’ve been selling fireworks for the last three years.

“We’re just that family that does everything together. So, it’s not just about a fireworks stand. We’re constantly together. This is just kind of an icing on the cake for us,” said Pam Kyes.

Todd Erickson purchased fireworks from the Kyes Saturday morning, telling 4 News Now he’s prepared for the 4th of July deciding to barbecue and light some fireworks. He says he tries to be safe when lighting them.

“For sparklers and little cones, we always keep a big tub of water, and I’m a chef. So, we always have fire extinguishers in the kitchen,” Erickson said.

Etherton says if you are lighting fireworks, have a tub of water nearby. Soak fireworks overnight. When lighting fireworks, do it on pavement or clear mineral soil so you don’t light grass on fire, he added.

“Any time it’s warm on the 4th of July, we have a lot of concerns of sparks getting away from folks as they’re using their fireworks starting lightweight fuels, like dead grasses and weeds on fire,” Etherton said. “Those fires begin to spread that can grow into a size that a homeowner can’t control themselves, and firefighters are needed to put those fires out.”

It’s also possible a homeowner can be responsible for costs if firefighters need to come and extinguish a fire that started from fireworks, Etherton added.

He said keeping a shovel nearby is also a good idea in case a fire starts. Don’t try and relight the fireworks that didn’t start. Etherton said it’s also not a good idea to be intoxicated while lighting fireworks, asking people to take a break from drinking before playing with fireworks.

“Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix,” he said.

If a fire does start, call 911.

“We don’t want anybody to be affected and lose their home while they’re out trying to celebrate our nation’s independence,” Etherton said.

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