Fourth of July fireworks are fun and exciting, but when people drink too much or are simply careless with them, a fun weekend can quickly become tragic. As an attorney in Lubbock, TX, it is fair to say we have seen everything, and that often includes the most grievous mistakes over holiday weekends, including July 4. Here are five tips to stay safe this year:
- Keep water handy: Dry conditions often contribute to fires. Even if you are careful to avoid lighting fireworks near dry grass or other fire starters, one breeze can change this situation quickly. Fill a bucket of water and keep it nearby just in case. Also, water’s usefulness is not limited to preventing fires. Heat stroke and exhaustion are common over holiday weekends, especially if alcohol is involved. Keep some bottled water in your beer cooler so your party remains hydrated.
- Leave duds alone: If you buy enough fireworks, chances are, one will be a dud. Rather than leave the duds alone, many people come closer for a better look and then, suddenly, the dud works at the least opportune time. If you encounter a dud, let it be. Douse it with water and toss it. While it could work if you wait long enough, it usually is not worth the risk.
- Know the laws: Besides the risk of injury, there is also a risk of legal liability. Fireworks are illegal in some urban areas in Texas. If you live in an unincorporated area, it is likely legal to shoot off fireworks, but it is a good idea to be sure. For example, unincorporated Travis County allows fireworks, but in Austin city limits and the surrounding area, fireworks are forbidden. Using fireworks illegally results in hefty fines at the very least, and if someone is injured or killed by your negligence, you could face jail time. Contact your fire marshal or conduct a Google search to be sure you are allowed to set off fireworks.
- Buy from permitted dealers: While it seems to be fun to take a risk, this can prove detrimental when it comes to fireworks. Purchase fireworks from licensed dealers to avoid the worst risks. Do not try to make your own fireworks; they will either fail or you risk injury while making them. Not only does this reduce the chance of injury, but it also helps ensure that you will purchase fewer duds.
- Light one firework at a time: Some people like to put up a super spectacular show and twist fuses together to shoot off multiple fireworks. This can be especially dangerous. One firework may light more quickly, which may cause injury if you are still trying to light a second. Also, two at once intensifies explosions, which increase fire risk. The safest way to light fireworks is one at a time—light one and then back up quickly.
If you require an attorney in Lubbock, TX for family law and criminal matters, The Law Office of Rob Biggers is here for you. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.
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