Jacksonville Public Safety offers tips for safe July 4th

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. – Officials with Jacksonville Public Safety offer tips for a safe and happy holiday for all.

The July 4th holiday is generally a busy one for the police and fire departments with calls for fireworks and noise complaints.

Local and state ordinances allow some types of fireworks.  However, even “legal” fireworks can cause serious injury.  “Be aware that even sparklers are dangerous and cause one-half of fireworks injuries in children age 5 and younger” said Jacksonville Fire and Emergency Services Chief Tee Tallman.

“Illegal fireworks are basically anything that spins on the ground, leaves the ground, or is exploded – legal fireworks are stationary.  Legal fireworks in North Carolina cannot launch a projectile, explode, or be self-propelled,” said Chief Tallman.

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If you see something that you believe is a violation of the law, contact the police department.

JFD Fireworks Safety:

  • Fireworks are not toys.
  • Always read directions.
  • Always have an adult present – Supervise the children at all times.
  • Use fireworks outdoors only.
  • Never use near dry grass or other flammable materials. Keep a safe distance from all structures
  • Light one at a time.
  • Have a bucket of water and a hose handy.
  • Never attempt to re-light or “fix” fireworks.
  • Do not wear loose fitting clothing.
  • Be sure to dispose of used fireworks safely.  Completely extinguish in water before placing in trash.
  • Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed by fireworks. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they will run loose or be injured.

Holiday periods bring an increase in traffic to Jacksonville.  Traffic is traditionally heavy in our retail corridor during holiday leave periods, as people are out shopping, eating, and restaurants, etc. “In general, there are just more people on the roads as they are off from work for the holiday period,” said Lieutenant Sean Magill, JPD Traffic Supervisor.

JPD Traffic Division Suggestions:

  • Obey all posted speed limits and be courteous to other drivers. 
  • Speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic can lead to crashes.
  • Keep on the lookout for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, which increase in holiday periods and can be difficult to see.
  • Do not drink and drive – ensure you have a designated driver, take a taxicab, or utilize a ride-sharing app.
  • Buckle up – proper use of seat belts and child car seats are the single most effective way to reduce crash-related injuries and fatalities.
  • Distracted driving is a leading cause of crashes. Pay attention to your driving. If you find it necessary to talk or text on your cellular phone, pull off the road or into a parking lot.

JPD is an active participant in the NC Governor’s Highway Safety “Operation Firecracker:   Booze it and Lose It”, a statewide safety initiative to remove impaired drivers from our roadways during the holiday period through checking stations and stepped up patrols.    “It takes only one or two drinks to slow steering, braking judgment and reaction time,” stated Magill.  “Simply stated:  If you are going to drink, don’t drive.”

Public Safety Director, Chief Mike Yaniero stated, “We urge everyone to celebrate Independence Day responsibly and safely.”

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