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Residents warned of firework dangers

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LAWTON, Okla._ Folks throughout our area are getting ready to ring in the Fourth of July with a bang. Vendors in Lawton have set up shop, but fire officials are warning residents to stay safe.

“Fireworks can be dangerous,” says Keith Herriage, who has been the owner of King Fireworks Inc. for 39 years. “Ninety percent of the people I hear are injured have altered the firework in some way."

Fire officials in Lawton say each year the number of incidents they're responding to the week of the holiday continues to climb. Last year, officers with the Lawton Police Department responded to 292 firework-related calls. The fire department was called in to put out 25 fires.

“Safety has got to be number one,” says Fire Marshal Mark Mitchell, who says you can never be too cautious when handling firecrackers. “It’s creating heat, which can cause burns; it can cause injuries to extremities; it can cause injuries to eyes (and) to hearing."

The National Council on Fireworks also urges parental supervision for the youngsters, the use of safety glasses, and reminds adults to avoid alcohol while popping off firecrackers.

As of right now, it is illegal to set firecrackers off in the City of Lawton. If caught, violators are subject to a fine of $750. Starting July 6, a new ordinance will go into effect that bans the sale, possession and use of fireworks within city limits.

 

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