Fireworks and the Fourth of July go together like … hamburgers and hot dogs, maybe? How about Stars and Stripes?
They do if you live outside an incorporated area, that is. They’re illegal in the cities of Brownwood, Bangs and Early.
If you live where they’re legal, be safe, be careful and be smart if you use fireworks, local officials said. Brownwood Police Chief Virgil Cowin said police will enforce the fireworks law in the city. Violators can be ticketed for a Class C misdemeanor, and the violation could be more serious if property damage occurs, Cowin said.
“We’re actually lucky this year because of all the rain. All the stuff we used to worry about in the past — dry grass — is not here,” Brownwood Fire Chief Del Albright said.
The fire danger may be down, but the moisture hasn’t extinguished the risk of injury, Albright said. Injuries can happen if a firework explodes in your hand, and projectile fireworks can be dangerous because you don’t always know where they’re going, Albright said.
“What goes up has to come down,” he said.
According to the National Council on Fireworks safety:
Treat fireworks with respect, read all of the cautions and warnings and use common sense. Lighting fireworks indoors, throwing them from automobiles and lighting multiple devices at the same time can lead to accidents and are not how fireworks are intended to be used. Always obey all local laws pertaining to the use of fireworks. Use fireworks and sparklers only outdoors. Only individuals over 12 years of age should handle sparklers of any type. Too many young people get burned by sparklers every year. Only use fireworks as intended. Don’t try to alter them or combine them. Fireworks and alcohol do not mix. Have a designated “shooter.” Nearly 10,000 people a year are injured by fireworks. About a third of the injuries are caused by illegal explosives or homemade fireworks. Use fireworks on a hard surface, and in a clear, open area. Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers. Light the fireworks product and get away quickly. Light only one firework item at a time. Don’t use malfunctioning or dud fireworks. Have water close by. Be cautious of lighting any fireworks during strong wind conditions. The fireworks should be lit with the prevailing wind blowing away from the spectators. Never use fireworks as weapons. Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or on your person. Never use fireworks indoors.