Firework safety tips ahead of holiday

COMANCHE COUNTY, OK (KSWO) - Big tents are going up across southwest Oklahoma with a full stock of fireworks ready for the 4th of July holiday. But fire officials say this time of year comes with a warning. While fireworks are a fun way to celebrate the 4th, fire officials say they can be very dangerous. Where you set them off is just as important as the safety measures you take during the holiday.

Volunteer fire officials like Cox's Store Chief Jody Dreves said no matter the brand of firework, they all have the same dangerous potential.

"Just think about the injury that it'll cause and how quickly something could be set on fire," Dreves said.

She said this time of year after the fireworks stands open tends to get busier for them.

"There's not a 4th of July that goes by that we don't respond to a fire of some kind or injury whether it be minor or major. It just doesn't happen," Dreves said.

Fireworks are illegal to sell, buy or set off in the Lawton city limits, but legal in Comanche County.

Assistant Lawton Fire Marshal Marc Sutphin said you can get a ticket for setting off fireworks in the city, even having them can be a problem.

"If we do go out and we do find somebody who has bought fireworks from some other location, and they do have them and the package has been opened up, they can be confiscated," Sutphin said.

Dreves said Lawton's ordinances push fireworks fanatics out to the county.

"That pretty much tells people that well then let's go out into the rural areas because we can't set em off here so we have to find some place," Dreves said.

Often times it's on private property without the owner's permission.

But if you do set off fireworks where it is allowed, make sure your have water on hand, do it away from structures, on a gravel surface, and be aware of the fire activity in your area. You could help firefighters during this busy time.

"They would watch the fire trucks go by and you would go by once spot and they would just keep lighting them off and not realize what they are doing," Dreves said.

While we are expecting some rain this week, it's still expected to be a busy 4th of July for firefighters because it's been dry so far this summer. If you don't know if you can set them off where you are, call up local government, either the city or county.

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