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Firefighters Remind Americans About Risk of Setting Off Fireworks

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As Americans, we love to get outside, look up at the night sky, and watch as fireworks burst on the Fourth of July. Fox 7 says that every year it’s estimated that Americans spend $250 million on pyrotechnics just for the hot summer holiday alone. But, with big celebrations and firecrackers comes the responsibility to keep things safe.

In many cities, like Austin, fireworks are illegal with a fine of up to $500 for selling or setting them off within the city limits. However, there are plenty of areas in Texas where the law allows for the personal use of fireworks, and firefighters hope people will remember that these objects can be really dangerous. Austin Fire Department battalion Chief Josh Portie told Fox 7, “I’ve seen some nasty injuries. I know they occur, statistics tell us that they happen every year, so if you are in a legal area, in an approved location to do fireworks, be responsible…This time of the year with fireworks, that always gets us nervous about causing grassfires, but not just grassfires, but structure fires.”

For specific tips, check out FireworksSafety.org. They urge Americans to keep a hose handy, never attempt to relight a “dud,” dispose of fireworks by “wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day,” and remember that pets need to be kept away from the explosions, preferably somewhere they can be calm and quiet.