Fourth of July Safety Tips - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Fourth of July Safety Tips

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It's almost time to celebrate our country's independence, and city officials are stressing safety.

With only two days before the Fourth of July, there is one big thing that kids like Makaylah Daniels look forward to.

"Fireworks," she said. "I do like them because they are pretty."

If holiday fun is in the plans, city officials say it is important to be careful. 

"Read the directions, and use them just like the directions tell you to," said Geneva Morgan of the Hattiesburg Fire Department.

According to the State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney, children 5-9 years old, as well as teens 15-19, are two-and-a-half times more at risk for injury.

"Don't hold anything in your hands and don't stand over anything when you are lighting it," said Morgan.

She said HFD typically gets more calls on July 4 because of grilling accidents. 

"You need to make sure that you move it at least 10 feet away from any type of structure," she said.

It is also good to know that popping fireworks inside the Hattiesburg city limits is illegal, and doing so can lead to fines.

"That will go under illegal burning and its $500," says Morgan.

Authorities also emphasize that parents need to keep a close watch on their children, and they said it is a good idea to have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency.

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