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The Houston Fire Department Encourages Fourth of July Firework Safety

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.

Each July 4th, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using fireworks. Emergency rooms treat thousands of people for fireworks related injuries; half of those injuries were to the extremities and 34% were to the eye or other parts of the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than one-third (36%) of the estimated 2018 injuries. These injury estimates were obtained or derived from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2018 Fireworks Annual Report by Yongling Tu and Jason Ng.

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.

“Remember that igniting fireworks in the City of Houston is illegal, but even more important is life safety,” says HFD Assistant Chief, Fire Marshal Alfredo Martinez. “ In 2018, fireworks started approximately 19,500 fires in the United States and caused over 9,000 hospital emergency room visits.”

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,” says HFD Fire Chief Samuel Peña. ” 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.”

Posted by on 30 Jun 2020