Officials stress importance of safety during 4th of July

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

The heat and dry weather have many people concerned about safety, and as Pikeville officials prepart for the annual 4th of July celebration, they are keeping those concerns in the back of their minds.

The decorations are hung and preparation is complete for a show unlike any other in Pikeville.

"As always it's our largest annual festival for one day in the park. It's our July 4th celebration," said Jesse Bowling, Director of Tourism and Events.

But the recent heat wave had them doing a little extra preparation this year. They set up a "hydration station."

"You need to hydrate. In this heat it's all about hydration. We'll have the water available and people will be able to take advantage of it," said Paul Maynard, Public Safety Director.

People can go to the hydration station and grab a bottle of water to help stay cool.

Fireworks safety is another hot topic. Weather has been dryer than normal making trees and plants especially flammable.

"We take one of the fire engines up prior to the display show and we wet down the area," said fireman Robert Lindsey.

They keep fire extinguishers on hand in case any small fires catch, but they say the handling of the fireworks is one of the most important parts. If fuses are not properly contained, something as small as static electricity can set them off.

They say once the fuse is lit, there is no time to react. They urge people not to handle fireworks unless you know what you are doing, and not just the large ones.

"Even with the smaller fireworks such as sparklers, sparklers burn in excess of one thousand degrees farenheit, and the wire frame that they use stays hot for approximately fifteen minutes afterwards," said Lindsey.

They say as long as everyone keeps safety in mind, no one's fun should be ruined this Independence Day.

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