Notes from the Peanut Gallery

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's all fun and games until someone starts a fire.


from the Texas Forest Service

June 23, 2008


For many, fireworks are an exciting part of Fourth of July celebrations. But the colorful fun they provide can easily turn into a dangerous situation if proper and safe use is not followed.

“It only takes a spark to start a wildfire,” said Tom Spencer, fire risk assessment coordinator for Texas Forest Service. “Fireworks, especially aerial fireworks, can be the source of that spark.”

Much of the state is experiencing drought. As a result, the grasses in these areas have dried and are easily ignited. Spencer recommends keeping fireworks use well away from dry grass and other flammable vegetation, to prevent accidental fires.

The Texas Forest Service recommends the following precautions for safe fireworks use-

  • Adhere to all county and city fireworks laws and restrictions
  • Use fireworks outdoors, away from dry grass and buildings.
  • Follow label instructions on how to properly discharge fireworks.
  • Only use fireworks with close adult supervision.
  • Keep a bucket of water, wet towels and a garden hose nearby.
  • Discard used fireworks; never try to relight them.
  • Allow used fireworks to cool thoroughly before handling to avoid possible burn injuries.

Caution is advised on fireworks use because of the potential they pose for starting wildfires. Texas Forest Service urges those celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks to plan ahead and limit use of fireworks to areas where accidental fire starts will not occur.

“Everyone doing their part will help make sure we all have a happy and safe Independence Day holiday,” said Spencer.