Keeping your family safe during the Fourth of July

Dawn Rye | Writer

Holidays like Independence Day and other celebrations can be fun times with great memories. But making sure everyone knows about fireworks safety in dry weather conditions is important.  The Turner County Emergency Manager reminds people to take precautions while using bottle rockets, firecrackers and other fireworks to avoid starting a fire on dry land as the ongoing heatwave pervades.

According to the state statute, Turner County Emergency Manager Brad Georgeson said there is a window that allows fireworks to be discharged from Sunday, June 27 to the end on the first Sunday following July 4 (July 11 this year). Be aware that it only takes one tiny ember to ignite dry materials, such as grass or dry wood on buildings. If possible, try to delay or reschedule discharges if the area is not fortunate enough to get moisture within this period to reduce the chances of unintentional fires.

Georgeson recommends following all directions on the fireworks provided by the manufacturer. This will help reduce personal injuries from these products. Always try to keep a water source nearby if needed for personal use as well as unintentional fires. Try to use bare dirt or large gravel surfaces for discharge to reduce the chances of accidental fire.

Georgeson explained that fireworks are permitted but not recommended if a burn ban is in place during this time. If a fire starts due to fireworks discharge, the responsible party may have invoices for control of that fire from local fire departments.

According to the City of Parker, their ordinance is stated as Discharge of Fireworks Prohibited Without Permit. It shall be unlawful for any person to shoot, discharge, or explode, or cause to be shot, discharged, or exploded, any firecrackers, skyrockets, bottle rockets, blank cartridges, fireworks, or other explosives used for fireworks or fireworks display in the City of Parker. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the use of a public display of fireworks in the City, provided that any person responsible for such public display shall, prior thereto, receive a permit from the City Council. Exception: Unless suspended by the City Council, it shall be lawful for a person to discharge fireworks, except aerial fireworks, between the dates of July 1 and July 5 of each year, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., except for July 4 of any given year when fireworks shall be permitted until the hour of midnight.

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