Officials urge caution when setting off fireworks | News
SELLERSBURG, IN (WAVE) - There are reports every year about people getting hurt from shooting off fireworks. This year, the threat is very real.
Dry conditions mean a real fire danger from fireworks and the extended heat is jumping up the heath risks for all of us with plans to celebrate the holiday.
The professional fireworks display on the Waterfront in Downtown Louisville for the 4th of July are still going to happen. But hot, dry conditions are threatening many displays and the health of people across Indiana and into Kentucky.
"The conditions that we're under right now with extreme heat and dry conditions present unprecedented dangers and hazards for fire," said Indiana State Fire Marshal, Jim Greeson. "We are looking at potential drought conditions as far back as 1934."
With the 4th of July this week, the state fire marshal warns people to take extra precautions when using fireworks.
"Keep a bucket of water and a hose handy if you are using sparklers," Greeson said. "You also need to know that you are responsible from a civil and potential criminal use if you have fireworks that leave the ground."
Most Indiana counties have open burning bans in place and many of them have issued emergency orders banning fireworks.
"We need the cooperation from law enforcement to be quite honest," Greeson said.
Fireworks are not the only concern. In some hospitals, like Jewish Hospital Medical Center Northeast, the excessive heat is also a worry.
"Really, anybody, if you're not careful, can suffer from heat-related illness," said Dr. Kirk Olson, who works in the Emergency Room at Jewish Hospital Medical Center Northeast.
ER doctors and EMS crews said they are seeing the typical number of heat-related illnesses. Those include cases of over heating and heat exhaustion which can be dangerous.
"The last couple of days, we've made about between 12 and 15 each day," MetroSafe Communications Representative, Mindy Glenn said. "They're everything from people being dehydrated, being overheated."
Dr. Olson said "If you're at home, you can certainly put them in a cool shower. That'll help very quickly to bring their temperature down. You can get ice packs, even pack of frozen peas. Put it underneath their armpits, behind their neck. That'll help to reduce their temperature assuming that they're in a cool area. Get into the shade if you cannot get to a cool area."
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