The Fourth of July holiday weekend is fast approaching and Wylie residents are reminded that it is illegal to set off fireworks in the city limits.
In Collin County, it is legal to discharge fireworks on privately owned property in unincorporated areas. However, possession and or discharging fireworks on U.S. Corps of Engineers property is illegal, including most parks and property adjoining Lake Lavon and Lake Ray Hubbard.
The Collin County Fire Marshall’s office advises individuals to always seek permission from landowners prior to discharging fireworks on private property.
National Fire Protection Association reported that fireworks spark an average of 18,500 fires and cause $43 million in property damage per year nationally, as well as cause injuries.
Residents should also be mindful when using sparklers, which are more dangerous than most realize. Sparklers do not explode but burn at close to 2,000 degrees, hot enough to melt some metals. They can quickly ignite clothing and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet.
Data from the National Fire Protection Association shows that sparklers account for nearly 25% of firework-related emergency room visits and nearly half of injuries for children under the age of 5. Residents are urged to consider safer alternatives such as glow sticks, confetti poppers or colored streamers.
In addition to potentially causing injuries or fire, exploding fireworks can trigger Post Traumatic Stress Disorder episodes in combat veterans and can scare pets and livestock.
Young children should never be allowed to handle fireworks. Older children should only use them under adult supervision.
Residents shouldn’t use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Hearing and eye protection should also be used when discharging fireworks.
Individuals should never hold lighted fireworks in their hands, point them at another person or discharge them indoors.
Illegal fireworks should be avoided, and individuals shouldn’t ignite fireworks in a container.
Spent and unused fireworks should be soaked in water for a few hours before being discarded.
Other safety tips include keeping a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that did not discharge, do not re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks and only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting.