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City of Huntsville addresses fireworks safety before July Fourth

Published on June 23, 2021

The Huntsville Police Department (HPD), Huntsville Fire & Rescue (HFR) and Huntsville Animal Services (HAS) are urging the community to practice firework safety ahead of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.

Huntsville Fire & Rescue Chief Howard McFarlen stands at a podium June 23 during a press conference urging members of the community to refrain from shooting fireworks in the city limits. To his left are Dr. Karen Sheppard of Huntsville Animal Services and HPD Deputy Chief Charles Brooks.
Huntsville Fire & Rescue Chief Mac McFarlen speaks June 23 during a press conference aimed at urging fireworks safety. At left are Dr. Karen Sheppard, director of Huntsville Animal Services, and Deputy Chief Charles Brooks of Huntsville Police.

During a June 23 news conference, HPD Deputy Chief Charles Brooks, HFR Chief Mac McFarlen and HAS Director Dr. Karen Sheppard addressed safety concerns associated with fireworks. With the July Fourth holiday quickly approaching, Huntsville Police expects to receive hundreds of calls for service about illegal fireworks or possible shots fired.

“These calls can detract from officers being able to respond to emergencies in the City of Huntsville,” Deputy Chief Brooks said. “Fireworks are also very dangerous and can cause injury or damage property. As a reminder, it is against the law to use, sell or possess fireworks within the city limits of Huntsville.”

Many fireworks stores sell both commercial and recreational fireworks. To use commercial fireworks, citizens must obtain a special permit. Recreational fireworks are also hazardous and often unpredictable.

“Fireworks can scare or disturb your neighbors or other members of the community,” HFR Chief McFarlen added. “We encourage everyone to celebrate the holiday safely. If you’d like to enjoy fireworks, please consider attending a City-sanctioned event conducted by professionals.”

Dr. Sheppard also urged the public to think about animals, which can be easily frightened by loud noises.

“Fireworks are not beautiful to pets,” she said. “Let’s make this Fourth of July safe for them by having your pet is secure inside your home or garage well before dark.”

Huntsville Animal Services also reminds all pet owners to have their pets’ current identification tag attached to their collar and to have their pets microchipped.

To report illegal fireworks, please call HPD’s non-emergency number at 256-722-7100.

The City of Huntsville hopes everyone has a safe and happy Independence Day.


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