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Don Criss talks w/ Jared Olive of the Roswell Fire Department about Fire Safety

Don Criss talks with Jared Olive of the Roswell Fire Department about Fire Safety during the 4th of July Holiday.

CRISS:  This is Southwest Spotlight on the KENW Public Radio network, and with me now is Jared Olive. Jared is the Roswell Fire Marshal, that's the Fire Marshal for the Roswell Fire Department, and we're going to be talking today about using fireworks on the 4th of July. We're going to be talking about how to keep safety precautions in mind. Jared, would you go through a list of very important precautions people should take if they're going to set off fireworks on the 4th of July? 

OLIVE:  Certainly, I would love to. You know anything we can do to help educate the public and keep things safer. Obviously, we want everybody to have a great time this 4th of July in celebrations and everything. But making sure that you're safe is- it should be the number one priority. So most of these fireworks they are pretty safe, pretty user-friendly, but that's if you guys are using them how they are meant to be. So oftentimes, we find that people are just using them improperly or they're not using them as their designed. So, number one, I would say we need to use them as their instructed, use them as their intended. Don't try to modify them. Always keep them out of reach of children. They should always- if there is a parent there-  and they decide to let their children use any of these fireworks, make sure that they're appropriate for the age. Don't ever let your children just run off and play with them by there selves. We also want to make sure that there's always going to be a way to put out a fire. Whether it's with a garden hose or a fire extinguisher. Make sure that you're not using your Fireworks near any type of dry foliage or any type of combustibles, cardboards, anything like that. Make sure that you have a clear designated area where you're going to be lighting them off. And make sure that you have a water source handy. 

CRISS:  That sounds great. And. You mentioned children. Can we talk for a second about sparklers? 

OLIVE:  Certainly.

Of Course, I'm an old man, so I remember sparklers being on a piece of wire that stood straight up. And they were. They not pretty big. The fire sparkling off of them, and I  can't imagine giving it to anybody under the age of, say of 7. Because they don't seem to understand to keep it away from themselves. 

OLIVE:  Well, and unfortunately, a lot of us adults don't even realize the temperatures that these things can reach. So, most people don't know for example that a common sparkler can reach heat up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. So that's enough that's hot enough to melt glass. I mean, it's caught enough to melt some metals even. Though I can even just imagine what that would do to the skin if that came in contact with, you know, a small child or something like that. I mean, it would, just it could create a very hazardous situation. 

CRISS:  Yeah, see, 

OLIVE:  We always want to make sure that you know if if you do decide to let your kids play with these fireworks.  Make sure that they're done under adult supervision and that you're extremely cautious because, again, as us as adults don't really tend to often think about these things. We think that either being sold to us, they're obviously safe. Well, I mean they come with a certain amount of responsibility, and the children, you know they really don't have that concept. 

CRISS:  Very good. While we're talking about this source of water, it should be quite a bit of water, shouldn't it? 

OLIVE:  Absolutely. I mean, you know these fires. They can get out of hand very quickly.  So if you if you do make a mistake, you end up having an issue where you do create a little fire. It can spread quickly. And I would never underestimate how quickly that fire can spread or how quickly it can grow. So I would highly recommend a water hose and, you know, having it ready to go. I wouldn't just consider, you know, a small bottle of water or something like that, which I've seen you know that's not going to be sufficient. So make sure that it's a good ready amount. The other thing is make sure that you know you can you have the ability to call 911 should it progress even further. 

CRISS:  Well, thank you, and we know who gets to answer that when you call 911, it's the fellows down at the Fire Department. And even though you have a great Fire Department there in Roswell, we have a good one in here in Clovis. A good one in Portales. Down in Hobbs, so forth. We can only stretch them so far, and on a night like the 4th of July, sometimes it's a lot of-  There are a lot of calls, so you want to keep those to a minimum, don't you? 

OLIVE:  Absolutely yeah, that's a good point because every 4th of July that's, I mean, we're just running constantly at all hours of the night. So, you know, the safer you guys can be at your own homes and more responsible you can be, the easier our days going to be. 

CRISS:  Jared, I want to thank you for talking with me. I hope people follow your advice. And want to wish everybody a happy and very safe 4th of July. Thank you. This is Don Criss, and this has been Southwest Spotlight.