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Officials stress fireworks safety

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Local authorities are urging residents to know the rules on where they can and can’t legally set off fireworks and are asking revelers to use extra caution this holiday weekend.

High temperatures, low humidity, and dry vegetation have created an extreme risk of brush and grass fires this year.

Most towns in Denton County prohibit fireworks, including Argyle, Copper Canyon, Double Oak, Flower Mound and Highland Village. 

Fireworks are allowed in the town of Bartonville and unincorporated areas of the county if they are discharged on private property, away from buildings and people.

“Even though Lantana is in the county and fireworks are technically allowed, they can only be used on private property and cannot be discharged on public streets,” said Argyle Fire District Chief Mac Hohenberger.

Lantana residents are also reminded that vacant lots owned by home builders, public parks and nature areas are also off limits for fireworks unless permission has been granted by the land owner.

Chief Hohenberger said that anyone shooting off fireworks is responsible for damage caused to someone else’s property.

The Denton County Fire Marshal will patrol unincorporated areas, looking for violations. Residents in those areas can report fireworks violations to the Denton County Sheriff’s office at 940-349-1600.

The town of Bartonville allows residents to use fireworks on their own property as long as the Fire Marshall has declared that it is a Burn Day. To determine if it is a Burn Day, visit the Denton County Emergency Services website or contact them at 940-349-2840. 

Bartonville Police will be patrolling the area to enforce the fireworks regulations. 

In Argyle, shooting off fireworks could land you with a fine up to $2,000. The town council in 2001 prohibited the selling, possession, use, ignition and discharge of fireworks.

“Any fireworks could be seized by the Fire Marshal, a police officer or other authorized town agent who responds to a complaint.” said Argyle Police Chief William Tackett.

If you plan to purchase fireworks to celebrate Independence Day, carefully inspect the packages to make sure that you only purchase legal fireworks designed for consumer use, marked as class 1.4G, said Chief Hohenberger.

Legal consumer fireworks include fountains, cones, and sparklers.

“Items such as M-80s, M-100s, quarter-pounders, and blockbusters may be presented for sale as fireworks, but they are actually federally banned explosives and can cause serious injury and even death,” said Chief Hohenberger.

Nearly 6,000 Americans spent part of their Fourth of July holiday in the emergency room in 2009 due to fireworks injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. 

If fireworks are legal where you live and you decide to set them off on your own, Chief Hohenberger offers the following safety tips:

– Never give fireworks to young children. Even sparklers can be unsafe in the hands of a child.

– Check with your local police department to determine whether discharging fireworks is legal in your area.

– Inspect fireworks before you purchase and avoid unlabeled fireworks. If you become aware of anyone selling such devices, report it to your local police department.

– Homemade fireworks are deadly. Mixing and loading chemical powders can seriously injure or even kill. Do not purchase or use any kits for making fireworks.

“Everyone doing their part will help make sure we all have a happy and safe Independence Day holiday,” added Chief Hohenberger.

 

Related article: Independence Day weekend fun

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