BOISE, Idaho — While the coronavirus pandemic forced many fireworks displays across the Treasure Valley to cancel this year's festivities, some local firework stands are seeing a spike in sales. Fireworks can start off as fun but take a turn for the worse, as acting-Deputy Chief Fire Marshall Jerry McAdams with the Boise Fire Department explains.
"Every year we see homes and structures that are burned down from the careless lighting of aerial fireworks illegally and we don't want to see that happen," he said.
Because of the sheer number of people lighting fireworks, Boise FD is swamped every Fourth of July.
"Our firefighters are extremely busy every single Fourth of July. They run from call to call to call to call, numerous vegetation fires, structure fires, shed fires that type of thing and the vast majority of that is people lighting off aerial fireworks illegally," he said.
McAdams added that while the fire department wants people to enjoy the Fourth, safety is priority number one.
"Every year people are injured, severely injured in some cases and they end up going to the hospital with burn injuries, injuries caused by exploding fireworks and we don't want to see that for folks, so please be very careful," he explained. "Sparklers are dangerous, they're extremely hot and well over a thousand degrees and they can burn very easily and readily."
But before lighting anything off, a safety expert with TNT Fireworks, one of the largest firework distributors in the country, also shared some safety tips for people enjoying fireworks at home.
Jame Fuller explained to KTVB that people need to focus on where they're lighting fireworks.
"Make sure when you do fireworks you do them in a thoughtful location, you check where you put your fireworks. If you put them on a paved surface, or a gravel surface, that's going to be best," he said.
Fuller added that people need to also be prepared to put out any fires in case one does start.
"Don't set a firework off if you don't have a water source near, either a bucket of water or a water hose, is a #1 requirement," he said.
When you're done lighting fireworks, Mcadams says they must be thrown away properly.
"You want to soak them in a bucket overnight, away from other combustible materials and do not dispose of them in a trash can until they've had a chance to soak for an extended period time," he said.