BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) — With the New Year right around the corner, the State Fire Marshal (SFM) is stressing the importance on staying safe not only when using fireworks, but also when buying them.

The SFM encourages families to enjoy public fireworks displays over having their own. If you do choose to buy your own, be mindful of whether where your purchasing from has been permitted by the SFM’s office.

Here are some tips to stay safe:

•          Detonating devices at least 200 feet away from structures, vehicles and rubbish

•          Never allowing children to light fireworks

•          Never operating fireworks while impaired

•          Lighting devices one at a time and monitoring embers released with a bucket of water or hose nearby

•          Discarding detonated items by wetting them down to prevent reignition and not disposing of them in a trash container immediately

Also be sure to check on the ordinances in your area to see if private fireworks are illegal. In Orleans Parish, the use of private fireworks is banned. In Jefferson Parish, the use of fireworks is illegal in unincorporated areas.

The SFM encourages reporting any suspicious or illegal sales of fireworks to 1-800-256-5452 or by visiting our website, lasfm.org.