The annual fireworks display at Delta State University's soccer field is set to kick off shortly after sunset on July 3. The chamber, DSU and the City of Cleveland will sponsor the grand celebration.
Local fire departments are encouraging citizens to enjoy the big show for one main reason — safety.
Although fireworks can be a beautiful and entertaining way to celebrate July 4, Bolivar Countians are encouraged to stay updated on firework safety and local laws.
“Remember, Cleveland has an ordinance against using fireworks within city limits," said Cleveland Fire Inspector Gene Bishop. "We strongly discourage using fireworks in the city and violators will be ticketed.
"They can be very dangerous, especially since it's been so dry and all the wind we've been getting. People need to understand you can be seriously hurt by fireworks."
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers some safety tips to consider when lighting fireworks: • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because that is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers. • Always have an adult supervise firework activities. • Never place any part of your body directly over a firework device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks. • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited completely. • Never point or throw fireworks at another person. • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap. • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly. • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off metal or glass containers. • After fireworks have finished burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire. • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
"We usually don’t have that many problems in the county,” said Bolivar County Volunteer Fire Chief Lee Tedder.
"Firework safety is about using common sense," Tedder added. "There's always the threat of grass fires from fireworks, especially when it's been dry."