Still in the dark on the 4th? Steer clear of fire and fireworks

Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Jul 03, 2012 in Personal Injury

The storms that blew through over the weekend did not do anything to alleviate the hot, dry weather. They did leave 680,000 West Virginia households without power, though. By Tuesday afternoon, power companies had whittled the number down to 333,000, a marked improvement, but a situation that can lead to property damage and serious injuries if everyone isn't careful of fire -- and fireworks.

West Virginia has a strong Fourth of July tradition, but state authorities are urging residents across the state to hold off on using anything that could spark a brush fire. That includes burning tree limbs or other storm debris, building campfires or bonfires (even for cooking) and igniting fireworks.

Most of the "big" fireworks are illegal here, but consumers can celebrate the Fourth with "snakes," "glow worms" and other novelty items. In these conditions, though, the make and model doesn't make a difference: A stray snapper could ignite a fire that would quickly get out of control -- and there may not be enough water to put even a small fire out.

The water problem stems not only from the lack of rain but also from the lack of electricity. Many West Virginians that rely on wells and cisterns for water also rely on electricity to run their water pumps. Even if the well is healthy, a household may not have access to it until the power comes back on.

Officials recommend that families attend one of the public fireworks displays. And if fire marshals postpone or cancel those events? Next year's will be twice as much fun.

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Stewart Bell, PLLC

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Charleston, WV 25301

Phone: 1 304-345-1700

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