LOGAN, W.Va. — The TNT fireworks tent at Walmart, managed by Vietnam Veterans of America Norman R. Miller Chapter 30 at Henlawson, has been a familiar site during the Fourth of July for years. Usually selling small groundwork displays, this year they are offering larger, aerial fireworks which became legal to sell in West Virginia on June 1.
“This year, thanks to the West Virginia State Legislature, we are able to sell the same as Ohio and Kentucky… Class C fireworks,” Andrew Clark, vice president of the chapter said. “We’re hoping that this will be an outstanding fundraiser for us.”
Clark said Class C fireworks have up to 500 grams of gun powder and project into the air.
“Always before the maximum height was maybe 10-15 feet,” Clark said. “But these go 70 to 80 feet in the air and put on a real good show.”
TNT recommends consumers follow these guidelines when using fireworks:
— Never consume alcohol when using fireworks.
— Never let children handle fireworks or sparklers.
— Read and follow the directions on the labels. The vast majority of injuries result from the misuse of fireworks.
— Only buy legal fireworks from a licensed seller. An estimated 40 percent of fireworks-related injuries are caused by federally banned illegal explosives such as M-80s, Quartersticks and other homemade explosive devices.
— Store fireworks in a cool, dry place – out of the reach of children and pets.
— Never carry a firework in your pocket or hold a lit firework in your hand.
— Never shoot fireworks from a metal or glass container.
— Keep spectators at a safe distance.
— Always wear safety glasses when igniting fireworks.
— Don’t aim or throw fireworks at another person.
— Never place any part of your body directly over a firework device – even when lighting.
— Only use consumer fireworks away from homes, buildings and dry grass – on a flat, level, hard, fireproof surface, such as concrete, that is free from debris.
— Have a working garden hose and/or bucket of water nearby in case of emergencies.
— When finished, allow used fireworks to stand for at least 20 minutes, submerge in water, drain, place in a plastic bag and dispose outside in a covered trash container.
— Light only one firework at a time.
— Never approach or try to re-ignite a firework that doesn’t light the first time.
— Protect your pets. Animals are often frightened by the sounds of fireworks. Protect your “best friends” by keeping them indoors, secure and away from the loud, sudden noises.
— Always check with your local city and county governments as there may be certain areas where consumer fireworks are not permitted.
Clark also urged caution.
“Adult supervision,” Clark said. “Don’t let the children have access to the fireworks themselves.”
“You have to be 18 years old to purchase or handle fireworks,” Ronald Cross, a member of Chapter 308, said. “That’s best now because a lot of these are high explosive. You need to supervise the children to make sure they don’t lose a hand or fingers.”
The TNT tent will be available in the Walmart parking lot until July 5. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. There is also a TNT tent at Madison at the former Foodland parking lot.
Taxes from the sale of fireworks will be distributed at 75 percent to veterans programs and 25 percent to a fund that supports volunteer fire departments.