Fireworks are part of many Fourth of July celebrations, but Towamencin Fire Chief Dean Miller says do-it-yourself home displays are very dangerous, not only because people can get hurt, but also because the house could catch fire. “We’ve had that in the not-too-distant past right here in Towamencin, where residential fireworks by the homeowner ended up causing a house to catch fire, and it’s happened in numerous other jurisdictions. There’s always a spike in home fires around the Fourth of July holiday because of this very danger. Let the professionals do it. If you want to see a fireworks display, drive to whatever is available locally to you and observe the display, but having them at home has an inherent danger.”
He says many people don’t know the glowing debris that falls to the ground can cause a fire.
“Sometimes when the debris gets to the ground it smolders for some period of time. Many of us complement our homes with the use of mulch around our property. While it does look nice, mulch will hold a creeping, spreading fire for hours, and it reaches the foundation of the home where it gets underneath the siding, and vinyl siding is very dangerous. It burns very quickly and very hot, and that fire can go right up the side of your house in minutes.”
Chief Miller says sparklers, which burn at about 1,200 degrees and are sold legally in Pennsylvania, can also cause fires.