Focus on Fireworks

Thursday, July 1, 2010 - 4:31am

Your Safety Depends on You

According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) research, there are far more U.S. fires reported on a typical Independence Day than on any other day, and fireworks account for more than half of those fires, more than any other cause of fires. In 2008, fireworks caused an estimated 22,500 reported fires, including 1,400 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 20,600 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated $42 million in direct property damage.

Under City of Madison ordinances only sparklers, snakes, snaps, caps and party poppers are legal within the City limits. Many communities bordering Madison have differing ordinances governing the use of fireworks, but the Roman candles, fountains, bottle rockets, firecrackers, and the like that are sold at nearby roadside stands are not permitted within the City.

Individuals found to be using fireworks in violation of City ordinances face fines ranging from $172 to $1000 plus court costs.
Residents are urged to attend one of the many public fireworks displays scheduled for this weekend. Public displays within the City of Madison must follow strict safety guidelines. Fire prevention officers review the fireworks set up and enforce the safety precautions required for public displays.

Leave the fireworks to the professionals this 4th of July holiday. Attend a public display where you can enjoy a spectacular show that is operated safely.

For Public Displays -
Organizers and pyrotechnicians work closely with the Fire Department to ensure all best practices in safety.
City of Madison Fire Inspectors are on site at set-up, during the event and afterwards to ensure codes are followed, a safe perimeter is established, and any leftover shells are disposed of properly.

The Department encourages attendance at public displays as a superior alternative to backyard pyrotechnics both in terms of quality and safety.

The most common health and safety issues at Rhythm & Booms can most often be prevented with some simple steps:

•Apply sunscreen liberally and throughout the day, as the sunscreen can lose its effectiveness over time.
•Stay hydrated with lots of water - moderate any intake of alcohol and caffeinated beverages, as they do not hydrate effectively.
•Respect perimeters on the grounds. A cordoned-off area indicates that area has been determined to be a spot where more debris is expected to fall.
•If you are near the launch site, it is appropriate to use eye-protection. One of the most common complaints for EMS service is foreign objects in the eye as a result of falling debris.
•Persons with respiratory ailments, such as asthma, are encouraged to locate farther away from the launch site for better air quality.
•Leave fireworks, grills, and pets at home. The number of people public events makes any of these "bringalongs" a hazard to those around you.


  • Lori Wirth(608) 266-5947