Fireworks safety for the Fourth of July

For many people, it wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without fireworks. But there are strict limits on fireworks inside the city limits and in Travis County parks, and our region is once again experiencing a drought, increasing the risk of fire. The Travis County Fire Marshal just issued a burn ban on June 26, and you can keep an eye on our current drought status at the U.S. Drought Monitor.

For a really big bang, check out the Austin Symphony concert and fireworks display at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Auditorium Shores. Fireworks will begin at about 9:30 p.m. The hill near the Main Building at St. Edward’s University is one of the best places in our area to watch the show, especially if you bring a radio to listen to the concert on 98.9 FM.

If you want to see big fireworks, check out a public display like the municipal fireworks show and Austin Symphony concert on Auditorium Shores.

If you must use fireworks at home, please be safe and use only the varieties allowed within the city limits without a permit. Here’s a list from the Austin Fire Department.

Snake, glowworm: Pressed pyrotechnic pellet that produces a large, snakelike ash upon burning. These devices may not contain mercuric thiocyanate.

Smoke device:  Pyrotechnic tube or sphere that, upon ignition, produces white or colored smoke.

Wire sparkler: Wire coated with pyrotechnic composition that produces  a shower of sparks upon ignition. These items may not contain magnesium.

Trick noisemakers:

  • Party popper: Pulling a string on this small paper or plastic item shoots out paper streams and makes a small report (explosive noise).
  • Booby trap: Small tube with string protruding from both ends similar to a party popper. Pulling the ends of the string makes a small report.
  • Snapper: Small, paper-wrapped item containing coated sand. When dropped, the device explodes, producing a small report.
  • Trick match: Kitchen or book match that has been coated with a small quantity of explosive or pyrotechnic composition. When lighted, it produces a small report or a shower of sparks.
  • Cigarette load: Small wooden peg that has been coated with a small quantity of explosive or pyrotechnic composition. Upon ignition, a small report or a shower of sparks is produced.
  • Auto burglar alarm: A tube that produces a loud whistle, a small report and/or smoke when ignited with a squib.

Call 311 to report a nonemergency fireworks violation. Call 911 to report emergencies such as fires and crimes.

Have a happy and safe Independence Day!

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About burlyheights

C. Forrest is a longtime resident of Burleson Heights.
This entry was posted in Fire prevention, Parks and recreation, Police, Safety, Travis County. Bookmark the permalink.

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