Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Fireworks outlawed in McKinney and surrounding jurisdiction
Violators could be fined up to $2,000 for each offense.
MCKINNEY McKinney fire and police personnel have the same message this July Fourth: Leave the fireworks to trained professionals, particularly within city limits.
Possession, storage, sale, handling and use of fireworks are prohibited within McKinney city limits and its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). Fireworks found within those areas will be confiscated, and violators could be fined up to $2,000 for each offense, according to a McKinney Fire Department release.
Illegal fireworks include anything designed to produce a visible or audible effect by ignition with a match or heat-producing device, the release stated. Examples are fire crackers, roman candles, bottle rockets and sparklers.
"Sparklers can get 1,800 to 2,500 degrees," said Andrew Barr, McKinney deputy fire marshal. "That is extremely hot. People don't think much of it because they held them when they were kids, but even sparklers can start a fire or burn you badly."
United States hospital emergency rooms saw about 8,700 people for fireworks-related injuries last year, with 60 percent of those injuries occurring on or around July 4, according to Consumer Products Safety Commission figures stated in the release. Risk of fireworks-related injury was highest for those ages 15-24, with males accounting for 74 percent of such injuries, according to the CPSC report.
"Fireworks safety is not a supervision issue," McKinney Fire Prevention Chief Dwayne Henderson said in the release. "A fireworks injury happens in the blink of an eye, whether or not a parent or other responsible adult is present."
Barr said McKinney police and fire officials get complaints "all night" on July 3 and July 4. First responders take the calls along with other regular emergency calls.
"We get them all - they're not limited to 8-year-olds or 80-year-olds," he said. "When you sell [fireworks] just outside city limits, you're always going to have someone do them in the city."
Scope of the fireworks used and users' demeanor toward first responders can influence how a judge rules the amount of the fine, Barr said, adding that McKinney police will issue a citation to violators. Their intention is to prevent structural damages and burn-related injuries, he said.
Fire officials encourage residents to watch fireworks at the city's Red, White and BOOM! celebration or at other area shows.
"The safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries is to leave fireworks displays to trained professionals," Henderson stated.
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