Fire free Fourth of July

Honor the fireworks ban in Shelby County this Fourth of July and be safe.

Yes, fireworks and the Fourth of July are tradition and can be a lot of fun. But fireworks are also dangerous. And this year, the state Fire Marshal has banned personal and commercial use of fireworks, unless they are fired over water, in 33 counties including Shelby County.

With Shelby County already under no burn restrictions and with recent incidents of fire in the county, a fireworks ban only makes sense.

But take heart. Even though the city of Alabaster has cancelled its fireworks show, there will be other venues at which the public can enjoy the traditional sights and sounds of a fireworks display. Municipalities can apply for permits.

Also, The American Village in Montevallo is planning to have a laser light show instead of its traditional fireworks if conditions do not improve.

Columbiana will have firework shows both the Friday and Saturday of its Liberty Day weekend, with state permission.

According to the UAB Injury Control Research Center, National Fire Protection Association statistics show 95 percent of emergency room visits due to fireworks involved fireworks permitted for consumer use.

Also, fireworks geared toward children, such as sparklers, fountains, snakes, party poppers and ground spinners can be among the most dangerous, with those injured falling in the 5-9-year-old age range.

So, why not take advantage of the fireworks ban in Shelby County and be safe this Fourth of July. Let professionals put on the show and keep you and yours safe and injury free.

The show at Liberty Day and the American Village&8217;s laser show by far top anything you can do at home.