Be safe with Fourth of July fireworks


Other than the professional show planned for Towle Park this Fourth of July, shooting fireworks will, as usual, be forbidden inside Snyder city limits this year. While fireworks will be allowed in the county outside the city limits, Fire Marshal Nathan Hines urges those planning on shooting them to use extreme caution.

“They’re not allowed in the city limits, period,” Hines said. “You can’t fire any of them, even sparklers. None of them. They violate city ordinance, and the fine can be up to $2,000 per violation. Now we have a burn ban, and we know that the fire danger is there. We want to make sure that everyone uses caution if they’re going out into the county to shoot them. You need to have permission to be there, and you need to have a way to extinguish a fire if one starts. Definitely we need to be careful with fireworks. Every year we have calls as far as fireworks.”

Hines listed some precautions that fireworks users can take.

“Have a fire extinguisher or a pump-up water sprayer,” he said. “Have the area cleared off around where you’re going to do it at. I know we’re going to have the one at the park and I think there’s going to be one in Ira as well. We always have a problem in town with people popping fireworks, and usually always have at least one or two fires because of fireworks in the city. The police department and myself will be out patrolling, and you will receive a citation if we find you doing it.”

Hines provided information from the National Fire Protection Association suggesting several fireworks alternatives for the Fourth, including glow sticks; noise makers; an outdoor movie night using a screen (which could be as simple as a white bed sheet draped over a clothesline) and a projector; or red, white and blue silly string.

The NFPA information also reports that sparklers are far from a safe firework option. According to the information, sparklers account for more than 25 percent of emergency room trips caused by fireworks. Sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, more than twice as hot as the ignition temperature of wood, and 300 degrees hotter than the melting point of glass.