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Burlington Fire Department reports for duty on the Fourth of July

WFMY-TV Greensboro logo WFMY-TV Greensboro 7/4/2022 Tom Santaniello

The Fourth of July gives many people across the Triad a day off and a chance to reflect on the United States' independence. However, not everyone gets that chance.

The Burlington Fire Department reported for duty Monday. Fire Chief Jay Mebane said the job doesn't change much. Crews handle their day-to-day tasks as nomal.

"What does vary is the activities of our population," Mebane said. 

Mebane said the Fourth of July holiday typically leads to calls related to fireworks. In North Carolina, fireworks that can fly are illegal. That doesn't stop people from buying them in another state and bringing them back to the Triad.

"What we try to do is just encourage a safe environment," Mebane said. "Use North Carolina-approved or legislative fireworks that are allowed, and just be safe."

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Mebane said it's common for people to get injured using fireworks each year. He said even legal ones like sparklers can get someone hurt if they don't pay attention. Mebane said the fire department has seen structure fires happen because someone used an illegal firework.

If you use fireworks, Mebane encouraged you to have water or something handy in case a fire starts to spark. When you're done using one, the best practice is to douse the firework in something wet to avoid any flare-ups.

The fire department undergoes several hundred hours of training each year to ensure each member of its team is ready for whatever the day throws at them, even if that day falls on a holiday.


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