WICHITA FALLS, TX - Many Texomans are buying fireworks to celebrate the 4th of July weekend. But Russell Nettles of Russell's Fireworks hopes they are being safe when they celebrate their freedom.
"Be responsible with your fireworks. I have all kinds of safety tips on my flyer which is available," said Nettles.
Like any business man, Nettles hopes to sell as many fireworks as he can for the holiday. At the same time, Nettles said he's happy to offer safety tips to customers. Nettles said taking simple steps can help prevent injury and prevent fires.
"I get an old towel and screw it to a broom handle and put that down-wind. Then, just get a chair down there, that way they can enjoy the fireworks down-wind and if anything happens all they have to do is put that towel on it and there is no problem," explained Nettles.
Nettles has also made a $1000 investment in large yellow signs that remind customers and others it's illegal in Texas to set off fireworks on the side of a roadway or ditch. If you're caught in the act by law enforcement, you could end up paying a $500 fine. Beyond just handing the signs out to customers. Nettles is also donating some of the signs to both the Wichita and Clay County Sheriffs Offices in hopes that their deputies can help make sure the public is aware of the state law.
"I know how to do it safely and I encourage everybody to read those safety guidelines," said Nettles.
For those lighting firework cakes, Nettles is advising them to "Tape the Cakes" before setting them off. By using clear plastic tape, Nettles pulls the cake fuses out before wrapping them together. Nettles said this should prevent the cakes from tipping over when customers ignite them.
It should be noted that lighting fireworks is illegal within Wichita Falls city limits and a handful of other Texoma towns.