Many Lakelands residents will welcome 2014 by shooting fireworks. However, fire officials urge residents to use extreme caution when doing so.
(Maddie Jones | Index-Journal)
Many Lakelands residents will welcome 2014 by shooting fireworks. However, fire officials urge residents to use extreme caution when doing so. (Maddie Jones | Index-Journal)

Many residents will be celebrating New Year’s Eve with a bang — literally.
Various fireworks stands and stores across the area are open for business, and residents are lining up to get their stash of mortars, rockets, Thunder Bombs, sparklers and more.
While it is a New Year’s tradition for many, local fire departments are asking people to use extreme caution when shooting fireworks.
According to Highway 34 Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Franklin Cloninger, one of the first safety tips people should keep in mind is fireworks should only be purchased from legitimate sellers.


“Start off by buying your fireworks only from a reputable dealer,” Cloninger said. “Do not use anything homemade and make sure you are buying things that, again, are coming from a reputable dealer. Always check and make sure your fireworks still have their integrity, that they still have their fuses the way they are supposed to, that the packaging that is holding in the firework itself is in good condition, before you leave the store with it.”
Cloninger said it is not uncommon for fire departments to see an uptick in calls on New Year’s Eve, for several reasons. One of those reasons is fire incidents because of fireworks.

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