Fourth of July Fireworks Safety

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by Russ Slaten

Fireworks go hand-in-hand with the 4th of July. State officials say the safest way to enjoy fireworks is by attending a public fireworks display. Although, if you're planning on using your own fireworks to celebrate, there are safety tips to keep in mind.

For those planning to shoot off fireworks, safety officials ask the public to ensure fireworks are legal to use in your area. Southcentral Alaska is limited to the city of Houston. According to public safety officials, shooting fireworks could cost up to a $300 fine in Anchorage and up to $500 in the Mat-Su Borough.

"It's an inherent problem when you've got this type of environment and fire, so we just don't let the two mix. We've never had fireworks authorized on the 4th of July. So if you buy them, take them somewhere out of Anchorage. Go up to the valley, if it's legal up there, enjoy it, come back into town," said Anchorage Assemblymember Dick Traini.

Officials warn people choosing to use fireworks legally to take some safety precautions before beginning.

  • Only purchase fireworks from a licensed dealer with certified fireworks
  • Have adult supervision while shooting fireworks, and never hand them to children
  • Always follow directions and never light fireworks with any portion of your body above it
  • Never throw or point fireworks at another person or an animal
  • Do not carry them in your pockets
  • Never handle malfunctioning fireworks, or duds, because some may have a delayed detonation
  • Douse and soak them with water and before throwing them away

"Most everyone is aware of the wildfires occurring in the lower 48. There's damage of land and extreme damage of homes, and it's our goal to prevent that here in Anchorage. So follow safety precautions, there's a reason that there are laws against use of fireworks," said Capt. Jaime Leon of the Anchorage Fire Department.

Finally, officials ask the public to avoid the combination of alcohol and fireworks.

For accurate times, date, and locations of public fireworks displays call local authorities in each area:

  • Anchorage: July 3rd, before midnight @ Mulcahy Stadium
  • Eagle River: July 3rd, before midnight @ Eagle River Lions Park
  • Haines: July 4th @ the beach of Haines
  • Juneau: July 3rd @ Lynn Channel
  • Ketchikan: July 3rd @ Tongass Narrows
  • Petersburg: July 4th @ Mort Fryer Ball Park
  • Seward: July 3rd @ the beach of Seward
  • Sitka: July 3rd @ the ocean front of Sitka
  • Skagway: July 3rd @ the beach of Skagway
  • Unalaska: July 4th near Memorial Park Island
  • Valdez: July 4th @ the shores of Prince William Sound
  • Wasilla: July 3rd @ Wonderland Park
  • Whittier: July 3rd @ the beach of Whittier
  • Wrangell: July 4th @ the city dock

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mike said on Sunday, Jul 1 at 3:35 AM

Why is it the government is alwase trying to save us from ourselfs? it sounds more like a typical way of extorting more money from people and traney we dont need any idiots comming from anchorage and burning us out in the vally ,keet thoes kind of comments to yourself

Yolanda said on Monday, Jul 2 at 10:04 AM

So I am getting from this report that it is NOT legal to set off fireworks in Anchorage on the 4th. Do you know where they are legal in the Valley? Wasilla or further out?

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