Celebrating July 4th with fireworks is a national tradition, and the Texas state fire marshal says common-sense tips are the key to a fun and safe holiday.
There were more than 650 fires caused by fireworks in 2013, according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Almost 500 of those fires were in July, and they resulted in more than $100,000 in property damage.
“Sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees. That’s almost six times hotter than boiling water,” State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy said. “The safest choice is to attend professional fireworks displays.” According to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, sparklers account for 41 percent of fireworks-related injuries.
For Texans who choose to use fireworks, the State Fire Marshal’s Office offers these tips to protect you and your family from fires and injury:
· Follow the law. Contact your local officials for information on burn bans and to find out which fireworks are legal in your area.
· Make sure an adult is present during fireworks use. Children should not handle fireworks.
· Do not drink alcohol before shooting off fireworks.
· Read all directions and warnings on individual products.
· Use fireworks on a hard, level surface.
· Use fireworks in a clear, open area. Never shoot fireworks indoors and avoid shooting fireworks in an area where there is dry grass or brush. Shoot fireworks away from homes and other flammable materials.
· Purchase fireworks only from a licensed and approved dealer.
· Do not point or throw fireworks at people.
· Have a bucket of water, garden hose or other water source available for emergencies.