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Wichita Falls 4th of July Fireworks Safety Tips + County Guidlines [VIDEO]

Wichita Falls Police and Fire Department officials
Wichita Falls Police and Fire Department officials hold press conference regarding 4th of July fireworks in Wichita Falls. (© Townsquare Media – 2014)

The Wichita Falls Fire Department has teamed up with the Wichita County Sheriff’s office to ensure everyone has a fun and safe Fourth of July holiday this year.

“We want to impress upon everybody about using fireworks safely outside of city limits,” Jon Reese, Wichita Falls Fire Chief said.

The city of Wichita Falls prohibits the sale or use of fireworks within the city limits. This also includes the transportation of fireworks across city lines.

Wichita Falls City Limits Fireworks Prohibited - ©Townsquare Media
Wichita Falls City Limits Fireworks Prohibited – ©Townsquare Media

Police Chief, Manuel Borrego, said although his officers will not be at the city limits awaiting individuals to purchase fireworks and head back across town he did warn those caught with fireworks would be issued a citation – so if the sign says 35, don’t do 60.

“Our main concern is the people firing off firecrackers and roman candles inside city limits,” Borrego said.

Last year, the Fire Dept. answered 75 fireworks related calls, 14 of which were grass/brush fires caused by fireworks.

“The main thing is to be safe, [and] to be careful. If you do start a grass fire we ask that you please call 911. Report the fire. You don’t have to tell anyone it was set by fireworks. You just leave your name [and say] it’s a grass fire on such and such street so we can have a deputy respond and get an overview of the situation before the fire crews even get there,” County Sheriff, David Duke said.

To ensure a safe holiday, WFFD has comprised a list of safety tips that can be found below.

  • Make sure fireworks are legal in the area before buying or using them.
  • Always have adult supervision
  • Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and they could pose a danger to consumers
  • Never place any body part directly over a fireworks device while lighting a fuse. Use a safe distance.
  • Keep a bucket of water or garden hose in case of fire.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

NEXT: Everything You Need To Know About Freedom Fest 2014

Here is a complete list of Wichita County fireworks guidelines:

1. The use of fireworks in an outdoor environment by any person is restricted, but Wichita County is not banning the sale of fireworks this 4th of July season.

2. Fireworks include, but are not limited to, any commercial fireworks product sold for personal use, other flammable materials used in activities associated with recreational pyrotechnics, or any other activity that could result in a wildfire.

3. The use of fireworks is allowed under the following guidelines ONLY:

a. Fireworks may not be used within the right-of-way of a public road or highway or any other public lands at any time unless specifically allowed by legal authority.

b. The person(s) using the fireworks must have prior permission of the landowner with name and contact number, if not the landowner. Unauthorized passage onto private land is currently against the law.

c. A separate person over the age of 18 years must be present to act as a spotter to observe for possible fires.

d. A minimum of 5 gallons of water must be available on site.

e. A minimum of a one (1) gallon pump/sprayer or 3 lb. or greater Residential/Recreational A-B-C chemical fire extinguisher or charged water hose must be on site. Other fire suppression tools, such as shovels or wet burlap bags are recommended.

f. Fireworks may not be discharged in brushy areas. Fireworks are not to be discharged in tall grass, above nine (9) inches or in very dry conditions, cleared or plowed ground without stubble is preferable.

g. Fireworks should not be discharged less than 25 feet from any property line or right-of-way. h. Aerial fireworks must not leave area you are using to discharge fireworks.

h. No fireworks may be used if winds are 20 mph or greater.

i. Persons using fireworks must have trash bags or other covered container to remove fireworks refuse from the site and properly dispose.

j. Any business owner or individual allowing individuals to ignite fireworks on their premise with or without a charge, must register this activity with the Wichita County Sheriff, 940-766-8170, and their servicing volunteer fire department at least twelve hours before the activity begins. The person making notification must give name, phone number, and address of responsible person, as well as the event location and the hours of the activity.

NOTE: Violation of this Order is a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.

Request: If a fire starts and is not readily extinguishable, please call 911, report the fire and remain on scene until appropriate personnel arrive.

Listen to Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom talk fireworks with Joe Tom White and Mike Hendren on the Rise and Shine Show:

On behalf of all of us here at Townsquare Media – Wichita Falls, have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July.

NEXT: Everything You Need To Know About Freedom Fest 2014

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