Texans are spoiled for choice when it comes to planning their 2015 Fourth of July celebrations. Major firework displays await you at San Antonio’s July 4th Celebration and H-E-B Fireworks at Woodlawn Lake Park. In addition, you can enjoy music, arts and crafts, and good food at the Freedom Fest at Market Square or a leisurely stroll along the River Walk to browse the unique handmade items available for purchase at the Fourth of July Arts and Crafts Show. Your ticket to the Street Festival in downtown El Paso includes live music, a massive fireworks display, as well as the Convention Center’s car show, on June 26-27.
Folks in Austin can enjoy their July 4th fireworks accompanied by a free live performance by the Austin Symphony. Residents of Corpus Christi have a fun-filled weekend of events from a day at the Hurricane Alley Waterpark to a parade and live music before the fireworks begin. Lastly, Houston residents of all ages can enjoy fireworks, a dedicated kids’ entertainment stage, and country music legends at the annual Freedom Over Texas celebration.
No matter where you choose to watch the sparks fly, you should be sure to practice safe firework techniques. In addition to major fireworks shows, many people choose to light smaller firecrackers at their homes—and unfortunately, improper techniques can turn these combustibles into deadly weapons. In order to help prevent these injuries, June has been designated National Fireworks Safety Month to raise awareness and encourage safety measures all the way through the Fourth of July.
Before you set off bottle rockets, Roman candles, fountains, or even light a sparkler, ask yourself the following questions:
- Where should I buy my fireworks? You should only light fireworks that have been purchased from a licensed store or stand. Fireworks bought on the street may be homemade, and can be filled with explosives that can cause serious injury or even death.
- Where should I light them? Fireworks should always be set off outside on a hard and inflammable surface, such as a driveway or sidewalk. Never attempt to contain fireworks in a metal or glass container. Make sure there is at least twenty feet between the lighting area and any buildings, vehicles, and spectators.
- What should I do beforehand? Put on a pair of safety glasses and wear fire-retardant clothing. Fill a large bucket with water and have a water hose unrolled and ready for use.
- Who should set off fireworks? Although sparklers and smaller fireworks are often given to children, only adults should be trusted to light and handle fireworks. Never drink alcohol while lighting fireworks, as this can dull senses and increase risk of injuries.
- What is the procedure? Always read the instructions for each firework before lighting. Look to make sure all spectators are at a safe distance, light the firework (only one at a time) and then quickly step away. Never point a lighted firework at another person. If the firework appears to be a “dud,” do not attempt to relight it; wait 20 minutes before approaching the dud and then immerse it in water. When the display is over, soak all fireworks with a hose and place them in a metal trash bin away from buildings and flammable materials until the next day.
We Need Your Help to Prevent Fireworks Injuries!
Fireworks cause thousands of hand, finger, and eye injuries every year in the U.S., over half of which occur during Independence Day celebrations. Make sure to share this article with your friends and family on Facebook to keep those you love happy and whole this Fourth of July!