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Preparation is key when setting off fireworks safely over New Year’s

Posted at 6:42 PM, Dec 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-28 22:27:23-05

Thousands of people around Acadiana are buying fireworks now in preparation for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

“The main thing is have a plan before you shoot, where you’re gonna shoot in your yard, where you’re gonna keep your fireworks while you’re not shooting, always, you know, want to have a sober shooter,” explained Louisiana Fireworks store manager Jacob Marietta.

Now, there’s an app consumers can use to see the fireworks before buying them.

The World-Class Fireworks Back Yard Preview app allows buyers to scan the bar code on the packaging at all Louisiana Fireworks outlets and tents.

Once you scan the packaging, the app plays a video of that particular firework’s explosions.

“Remember whatever you shoot up in the air, it’s gotta come down. So, if it comes down on somebody’s property, you’re gonna set it on fire,” said Lafayette Fire Chief Robert P. Benoit.

“I can recall one fire where the individual was on the second floor, and they set the garage on fire, which was below the second story. They couldn’t get out, and so they had to wait for us to get there. It was an airborne firework, and they ignited, and the rocket went where they didn’t want it to go,” said Benoit.

That’s why having a treeless clearing is ideal for setting off fireworks.

That’s what Laura Limon, whose family traveled from San Antonio to buy $400 worth of fireworks, plans to do.

“Yes, we go to our friend’s house who has several acres, and so we’re free from any other houses being near,” said Limon.

Bobby LeBlanc, who has been shooting fireworks for more than 30 years, says practical judgement is key.

“Try not to stand on top of them. You don’t put your head over the top of them while you’re lighting them,” said LeBlanc.

If a firework doesn’t go off, don’t try to reignite it; throw it away.

“When you’re done shooting, drench your fireworks and let them sit in the yard overnight just in case something reignites. You don’t want to fill your trash can, drag it up close to the house and it catch on fire, you know, start a structure fire,” explained Marietta.

Chief Benoit reminds the public that shooting fireworks within Lafayette city limits is against the law.