How Walker Works – Fireworks Safety

Chickamauga, GA – Many Americans celebrate Independence Day with a parade, picnic or BBQ and of course, fireworks.  “It’s enjoyable, but they are dangerous. They can hurt and they have hurt so just be very cautious when you do fireworks,” says Walker County Fire Inspector Jeff Roerdink.

Fireworks were involved in over 9,000 injuries that required a hospital visit in 2018, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission

Roerdink offers a few recommendations to keep you from becoming a statistic this Fourth of July.  “If you have a firework, don’t hold on to that firework.  That firework is considered an explosive and it can remove fingers and cause all sorts of damage.  Be smart with what you are going to do with these fireworks.  Don’t shoot them at each other.”

Here are a few other safety tips:

  • Shoot fireworks off from a solid surface, like a concrete pad, so they won’t fall over
  • Never try to relight a dud
  • Keep a bucket of water close by to douse spent fireworks
  • Think twice before letting small children hold sparklers, which burn hot enough to cause third degree burns

On the subject of sparklers, Roerdink has some additional perspective.  “To put it into perspective, wood generally burns at 300 to 400 degrees fahrenheit, so a sparkler is 1200 degrees fahrenheit, that temperature is enough temperature to actually burn some metals.”

Roerdink says the best way to take part in a fireworks display is as a viewer… letting professionally trained pyrotechnicians handle the show.  “I just want to make sure everybody has a safe and happy Fourth of July from Walker County Fire Rescue.”

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Walker County Maintains 3/3Y ISO Rating

LaFayette, GA – Walker County maintained a 3/3Y ISO rating following a rigorous review of fire services in the unincorporated areas of the county and city of Chickamauga.

The 3/3Y classification by the Insurance Service Office will benefit homeowners and business owners.  Insurance companies use ISO ratings in their calculations to determine insurance rates in a community.

“This validates all the hard work being done by our team to improve fire service in Walker County, while reinforcing the fact that our efforts provide a financial savings too,” said Chief Blake Hodge.  “These surveys take a lot of time and effort to coordinate. It’s not easy to attain this mark.”

The ISO evaluation looked at all aspects of the fire department, including equipment, manpower, training, number of stations and response times.  ISO also evaluated area water authorities, 911 communications, public education, fire prevention efforts, code enforcement and inspections, among other areas.

Walker County received high marks for communications, water supply, fire hydrants and firefighter training.

ISO rates communities one on a scale of 1 to 10.  A lower number means fire service in a given area is better equipped to put out a fire and save a home or business.  The ISO 3 rating, which is good for four years, places Walker County in the Top 12% in the nation for fire protection, ahead of more than 37,800 other cities and counties.