5 tips to help you safely celebrate our independence

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By Christina Seidel, CSFD Public Education Officer

When Francis Scott Key wrote about “the bombs bursting in air” he probably didn’t foresee anyone getting hurt in future celebrations of our nation’s independence.

Still, what would a good, old-fashioned Independence Day celebration be without fireworks?

Since the College Station Fire Department wants safety to be everyone’s priority, here are five tips to help you celebrate safely through the dawn’s early light.

1. Note the location of fireworks stands.

Fireworks are illegal to use in Bryan-College Station or within 5,000 feet of the city limits. Violators could pay up to $2,500 in fines.

2. Know your packaging.

Fireworks packaged in brown paper bags are for professional displays, which means they’re dangerous if not handled by trained personnel. Fireworks designed for the average consumer have packaging with bright colors, trade names, and manufacturing information.

3. Look at the invitation list.

About 25 percent of fireworks-related injuries happen to people under the age of 15, followed by adults in the 25-44 age group. If you’re supervising children or are part of those high-risk demographics, take extra safety precautions and keeping children and yourself at a safe distance from fireworks.

4. Remember that water boils at 212 degrees.

If you think that’s hot, consider that sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees. In 2013, they caused 41 percent of all fireworks injuries. Sparklers are also legally recognized as fireworks and are illegal in the city limits. You might consider using risk-free alternatives such as glow sticks or trying this fun, safe experiment with your kids:

  • Fill a clear jar with warm water.
  • Mix food coloring and a few drops of oil into a small bowl.
  • Pour the oil mixture into the jar.
  • Watch what happens when the liquids combine.

5. Don’t blow your budget.

Let the experts handle the fireworks logistics while you enjoy the “I Love America” Fourth of July Celebration at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Licensed professionals are in charge, and the College Station Fire Department supervises the display.

For more information about these or other fire safety issues, contact me at 979-764-3712 or cseidel@cstx.gov.

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Photo Copyright: maglara / 123RF Stock Photo

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