FORT KNOX, Ky. — As senior leaders at Fort Knox announce there will be no Fourth of July fireworks show on post this year, installation officials are encouraging community members to safely celebrate off post.According to Fort Knox Regulation 420-1, the individual use of any fireworks is prohibited on the installation.“In the past, the garrison has approved contractors licensed by the state to do a major event, and because of COVID-19 this year, it looks like that’s not going to happen,” said Michael Patterson, assistant chief of Fire Prevention Branch at the Fort Knox Fire Department. “That’s the only type of fireworks events allowed to happen here.”The prohibition includes sparklers, which can burn as hot as 2,000-degrees.“They are strictly prohibited; they’re pretty dangerous,” said Patterson. “I did some research the other day, and 24% of fireworks-related injuries are actually from sparklers. That’s kind of a high, alarming percentage.”To put it into perspective, Patterson said cakes bake at 350-400 degrees, wood starts to burn at 575 degrees, and glass requires 900 degrees of heat to melt.Patterson explained more than 19,500 reported fires are started by fireworks every year, and burns account for 44% of the average 9,100 injuries that are treated in emergency rooms during the timeframe around July 4. Of those, 31% are hand and finger injuries with an additional 22% resulting in injuries to the head, face and ears.Patterson encouraged partygoers who want to shoot their own fireworks off post to plan ahead and pick a safe, appropriate spot on which to light them.“Find a hard surface that is a clear area with safe distances,” said Patterson. “If they plan on using fountains, they should have a ground clearance of at least about 35 feet. If they plan on using aerial fireworks, it’s recommended they have 100 feet of clearance.”Those who plan to light fireworks at off-post residences should keep pets indoors in a quiet area and not allow children to light the fireworks, according to Patterson. Statistics reflect that children ages 10-14 suffer the highest rate of fireworks injuries; more than 36% of overall injuries attributed to those under the age of 15.He recommends having a multipurpose Class A, B or C fire extinguisher handy to put out fires. He also advises ways to celebrate the Fourth, including using glow sticks in place of sparklers, picking up noise makers, watching an outdoor movie, using silly string, making a craft with the family, and even throwing America a birthday party complete with cake.For those who plan to go out and watch a fireworks show, Wendy Steinhoff, safety specialist at the Fort Knox Safety Office, advised not traveling alone, and knowing the situation in the area before they go. She recommended two shows nearby.“They’re having something at the college in Elizabethtown,” said Steinhoff. “Radcliff is also doing something.”Fireworks Over Radcliff will present a July 3 show beginning at 6 p.m. in front of St. Stephen Church on 757 S. Woodland Drive. The Founders’ Day Fireworks Display in Elizabethtown will occur July 4, beginning at 8 p.m., near University Drive where the ECTC campus is located.“For safety, make sure you wear your mask if you are sitting within six feet of someone, and wash your hands,” said Steinhoff; “and by all means enjoy the fireworks.”