|The Houston Fire Department would like to remind citizens of potential risks associated with the personal use of fireworks- including devastating burns, injuries, fires, and even deaths. Instead the HFD encourages everyone to enjoy professional public firework displays such as the City’s signature tribute to patriotism, Shell Freedom Over Texas. For more information about this event visit: www.houstontx.gov/july4
Each July 4th, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using fireworks. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) an estimated 19,500 fires started by fireworks were reported to local US fire departments each year. Although firework injuries area seen in all age groups, more than one-third of the victims are under the age of 15. The NFPA estimates about 44 percent of injuries are due to burns. For example, sparklers get as hot as 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, account for 25 percent injuries seen at hospitals.
In addition, it’s important to remember it is illegal to discharge fireworks in the City of Houston and parts of the county, with fines ranging from $500 – $2000 for each individual firework. If a minor is caught discharging fireworks, the parent or guardian will receive the fine even if they were unaware of the minor’s possession and/or usage.
Citizens should also remember that discharging fireworks is illegal near certain locations of unincorporated areas of Harris County, such as near churches, hospitals and asylums, a licensed child care center, or a public or private primary or secondary school or institution of higher education unless the person receives authorization in writing from that organization.
Complaints regarding the illegal use of fireworks should be directed to the HPD Tel-communicator (non-emergency line) at 713-884-3131. If the citizen believes that there may be a fire and/or medical emergency related to the use of fireworks, he/she should dial 9-1-1 and request the HFD.
“Independence Day is a great day for our country. We appreciate the gift and sacrifices made by so many. Let’s promise to be good citizens of our country and help America grow into a better nation each day. We encourage everyone to have a great day, enjoy the festivities and to do so RESPONSIBLY. Have a safe and happy 4th of July!” Sam Peña, Fire Chief.
For additional safety tips, including “Summer Safety” visit www.houstonfire.org