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Merrill, Wausau Fire departments urge Independence Day safety

Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 4:54 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - A brat, dip in the pool, and fireworks are all part of the perfect 4th of July. But they do come with risks.

That’s why both the Merrill and Wausau Fire departments are urging residents to take precautions in their 4th of July celebrations this week.

“Do things cautiously. Think about what you’re doing. Don’t take risks,” Battalion Chief Scott Krause of the Merrill Fire Department said.

With many firework shows canceled, firework sales are booming more that. That means more are launched at home, and there is more potential for danger. That’s why using them responsibly is key.

Before you use fireworks, be sure the ones you are using are legal. Those include most that stay on the ground, like sparklers, fountains, and firecrackers. For the ones that leave the ground, a permit is required.

“Any of the big boomers that go up, that’s going to be more of the people that are certified,” Wausau firefighter and paramedic Nate Zellner said.

Other things to consider are keeping your distance from the explosion and making sure to only light one at a time. If there is a malfunction, don’t try to re-light it.

“Chalk that up as a financial loss. Definitely not worth relighting that thing,” Zellner said.

As for the brats and hamburgers on the grill, that requires some distance from your house.

“We recommend ten feet. And when it does come to ten feet from a structure, we also want that to be on a hard surface like concrete or asphalt,” Zellner said.

That means not on the grass and not near any combustible material. Make sure the propane tank doesn’t have any leaks and is not open for too long.

“If it doesn’t light within five seconds, shut the grill off, let it air out, and try again,” Battalion Chief Scott Krause said.

If a fire does erupt, have a fire extinguisher or a bucket of sand handy. But the takeaway message from them was to have fun responsibly.

“Let’s have a fun, fun weekend but let’s keep it safe,” Zellner said.

For more information on firework rules and regulations, look at your specific town guidelines.

Copyright 2020 WSAW. All rights reserved.

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