Fourth of July fireworks: Guidelines and safety tips

Robin Bradshaw
Alice Echo News Journal

Independence day is here and many local residents enjoy barbequing, spending time with friends and family and lighting off the traditional firecracker. 

Alice Fire Chief Patrick Thomas wants to advise residents to enjoy the holiday but remember that fireworks are NOT legal to sell, purchase and ignite within the city limits. 

Micheal Mayes from Wildcats Fireworks located in Bluntzer, Texas.

"The fine could be up to $500 if caught within the city limits, but I want residents to enjoy the holiday and be responsible," Thomas said." Keep an eye out for your kids. Fireworks burn short at excessive time high-temperature to create the pretty colors and noises and can be dangerous when not used responsibly." 

Duval and Jim Wells Counties have lifted burn bans, but caution should always be used in the area and around structures that could catch on fire.

The majority of firework injuries that occur are due to amateurs who attempt to use professional-grade, homemade or illegal fireworks. Even smaller fireworks like sparklers can burn at a very high temperature and account for 25 percent of emergency visits from firework injuries.

An estimated 1,200 firework injuries were from less powerful devices like firecrackers and sparklers with young adults and children under the age of 20, according to the National Safety Council at www.nsc.org.

If you choose to use legal fireworks the National Safety Council recommends following these guidelines:

  • Never allow small children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
  •  Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding them.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that do not go off or in case of fire.
  •  Never use illegal fireworks
  • Always remember to call 9-1-1 if an emergency should arise.