FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Dry conditions in the area have sparked a word of caution from Fort Rucker officials to those thinking of launching their own fireworks in the Wiregrass this Fourth of July.

According to Maj. Jay Massey, Directorate of Public Safety deputy provost marshal, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence Regulation 600-1 reads that the use of explosives, pyrotechnics, fireworks or military ammunition is prohibited except for military purposes.

“That’s pretty much it,” he said. “You’re not supposed to have them out here, period.”

Massey said that if anyone on the installation witnesses someone with fireworks or using fireworks, DPS should be notified immediately.

“We have to approach this from a safety concern,” he said. “As dry as it’s been, it’s just a bad idea anyway.”

While fireworks are part of the annual Freedom Fest event July 2, Massey said precautions have been taken to make sure there will not be any danger to anyone in attendance or the installation.

“We’ve done a risk assessment and performed a counter measure as a precaution,” he said. “The fire department will be out about an hour before the show starts, wetting down the field to make sure we don’t have any fire issues.”

Massey added that people who want to see a good fireworks display for the Fourth of July holiday should come out to Fort Rucker’s Freedom Fest instead of risking their property or someone else’s by using their own fireworks.

“We’re going to have one of the best fireworks shows around,” he said. “I’ve been to many fireworks shows before and this one ranks as good as any I’ve seen. It’s also a good, clean, Family environment.”

While those on post will be treated to a staged fireworks display for Freedom Fest, others may choose to travel away from the installation for the holiday weekend and use their own fireworks.

The Fort Rucker safety office offered words of warning about using fireworks properly for those who choose to use them off-post.

“People should be aware of the direction fireworks will go when lit,” said Sharon Manning, Aviation Branch Safety Office safety and occupational health specialist. “You don’t want to shoot off fireworks toward an area that could catch fire (pine trees where there are a bunch of dry pine needles, roofs, etc.).”

Manning added that people using fireworks should follow several safety guidelines to ensure nothing bad happens while enjoying the holiday: select a clear area and hose it down, read and follow all directions, keep a bucket of water close by, douse used fireworks with water, supervise children and be extra careful with sparklers.

Firework Safety Tips:

- Always read and follow label directions.
- Have an adult present.
- Buy from reliable sellers.
- Use outdoors only.
- Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket).
- Never experiment or make your own fireworks.
- Light only one firework at a time.
- Never re-light a “dud” firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).
- Never give fireworks to small children.
- If necessary, store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
- Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in a trashcan.
- Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
- The shooter should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.
- Stay away from illegal explosives.

Source: National Council on Fireworks Safety