Tips to prevent fires, injuries while celebrating 4th of July

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 7:06 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - With the majority of Lubbock County in a severe drought, fireworks aren’t just a matter of personal safety, they present a fire danger as well.

With severe and extreme drought conditions holding across most of the county, July 4th celebrations require a heightened sense of responsibility.

“We’ve had just a tiny bit of rain over the past month,” West Carlisle Fire Chief Tim Smith said. “With the increase in temperatures and the winds all that’s gone.”

As residents prepare to pop fireworks over the holiday weekend, it’s important to understand all the rules created to protect the community.

“The possession and the use of fireworks inside the city limits of Lubbock is illegal as well as Wolfforth, Shallowater and all the incorporated cities in Lubbock County,” Smith said.

But even outside city limits, a single spark can create a big fire in a short time. Choosing a safe place to celebrate can make all the difference.

“Make sure you’re not shooting them off over a dry field or an abandoned structure or anything that could readily catch fire,” Smith said. “Over dry grass and dry fuel we have to be very careful.”

Using fireworks incorrectly or taking chances can lead to a bad situation.

“If it looks like a bad idea, it probably is,” Smith said.

There are three things Smith says you need to have close by. The first is a phone to call for help.

“In case something bad happens, you can call 911 at the first sign of fire,” Smith said. “Don’t try to put it out yourself. Don’t try to fight it yourself. Call 911.”

The second, a bucket of water to douse burned fireworks, and the third, a close eye on your children.

“This is the number one cause over the holiday weekend of child injuries, is fireworks,” Smith said. “Loss of vision, loss of digits, loss of fingers, that kind of thing. So make sure you watch your children while they’re doing that.”

And remember this as you leave your celebration site.

“Make sure your fires are out, pick up your trash and have a good holiday,” Smith said. “Use common sense. Happy birthday America, right?”

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