New Year's Eve Firework Safety

New Year's Eve Firework Safety

     New Year's Eve is tomorrow and many people have plans to watch and fire off fireworks, but before you light the fuse you need to be aware of laws and safety regulations.

     You could pay a hefty fine for possessing, shooting or selling fireworks in Wichita Falls City Limits.

     Officials said as long as you are out of city limits and have permission to be on private property then you are fine.

     Although, there is still some safety regulations you need to know.  

    According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Study, fireworks were involved in more than 10,000 injuries treated in ER’s during 2014.

            Wichita Falls Fire Department Assistant Chief Donald Hughes said, accidents can be avoided.      

            “Light them and use them the way they were intended to be used. Don't hold them in your hand, don't use glass bottles or other things to shoot them out of,” said Chief Hughes.   

            Where you shoot them is important too.

            “Just make sure you have an area that is safe and flat, and make sure you have something there to put fires out if it starts one,” said Chief Hughes.

      Chief Hughes said, because of all the grass fires and structure fires WFPD was being called out to, the fire department was prompted to ban fireworks in city limits.

            He adds all the ice and snow we have had in the area can help prevent grass fires, and he does not expect to see many this New Year’s Eve.

            Another worry the fire department has is illegal fireworks.

            He asks, “If you know of somebody that has something illegal like a M-80 Explosive and some of the more powerful fireworks, you need to report it to the fire department or to the police department.”          

            Those enjoying the firework shows need to be careful too, and since most injuries Wichita Falls Police Department sees are burns, Officer Jeff Hughes reminds viewers not to stand too close, and make sure all children are being supervised at all times.

            “Make sure they have adult supervision. Make sure they are using fireworks the way they are designed to be used, and they are using them safely,” said Officer Hughes.

            The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Study shows children aged five to nine had the highest estimated rate of ER treated firework injuries. Fireworks like sparklers may not seem dangerous,  but in this study they accounted for 1,400 injuries last year alone.

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