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Safety stressed with New Year’s celebrating

Bill Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat — Murray’s Fireworks stand employee Casey Floyd Jr. shows fireworks Monday afternoon to Carter Kenne, back, and Charles Kenne.
Bill Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat — Murray’s Fireworks stand employee Casey Floyd Jr. shows fireworks Monday afternoon to Carter Kenne, back, and Charles Kenne.

NATCHEZ — Safety was a top priority for Karri Kenne as her three sons picked out fireworks Monday afternoon in Natchez.

“There are a lot of trees around the house, so we don’t want anything that could catch fire,” said Kenne as she looked over her purchases at Murray’s Firework Stand on U.S. 61 South. “We will be supervising everything, and the kids are not allowed to light anything on their own.”

Officials throughout the Miss-Lou urge safety and supervision when handling fireworks as residents count down to the new year tonight.

In Natchez, explosive and noise-making fireworks are against the law within city limits, according to Natchez Police Department Detective Jerry Ford.

“Anyone that’s caught discharging fireworks can go to jail, but we try to give warnings the first time and then take action if necessary,” Ford said. “We’re asking everyone to be safe this New Year’s.”

In Adams County, residents are allowed to shoot fireworks in a responsible manner, according to Sheriff Chuck Mayfield.

“Fireworks can be a lot of fun, but the injuries related to fireworks are never fun,” Mayfield said. “Even sparklers can burn hotter than 1,000 degrees and can cause burns that will scar for a lifetime, so parents should handle the fireworks, and older children should be supervised.

“Remember to put safety first, and you’ll have a safe and happy New Year.”

Mayfield suggested keeping a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for soaking all fireworks before throwing them away.

Fireworks should also be kept away from dry shrubbery, discarded wood or debris piles, Mayfield said.

In Vidalia, explosive and noise making fireworks are normally not allowed within city limits, but an exception is made for certain holidays including New Year’s Eve, Vidalia Police Department Chief Arthur Lewis said.

“We ask that residents stop shooting fireworks after midnight and that those using fireworks take extra precaution,” Lewis said. “We want everyone to enjoy the holiday, but to also keep themselves and everyone around them safe and out of danger.”

Fireworks are allowed throughout Concordia Parish, and Sheriff Kenneth Hedrick also urged those celebrating with fireworks to be safe. “We ask that the adults setting off the fireworks be aware of others around them and to call 911 with any emergencies they have,” Hedrick said. “Everyone should try to respect their neighbors as much as possible.”

If someone is injured by fireworks, local authorities throughout the Miss-Lou urge citizens to dial 911 or go to their nearest hospital for treatment.

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