Fire officials stress fireworks safety in Taylor County
ABILENE, Texas - As the Fourth of July weekend approaches, safety is on the minds of the Texas A&M Forest Service members and the owners of fireworks stands in the Abilene area.
It is illegal to shoot fireworks within Abilene city limits, but they can be popped on private property in Taylor County.
"You want to always check with regulations for the area you're going in, if they allow fireworks at all," said Stacy Harvick with the Texas A&M Forest Service. "You also always want to check for burn bans."
Alexis Smith, the co-owner of Boombah Fireworks off FM 2404, told KTXS News that even though it's their first year selling fireworks, they still encourage safety to their customers.
"We want our customers to be smart and enjoy them," Alexis said. "However, we don't want them to lose a hand or anything else -- it's not worth it. As far as not starting fires, anything that is flammable needs to be out of the way."
But Smith is also using fireworks to give back to the needy by rewarding those who contribute to the Love and Care Ministries Food Drive.
"People bring canned goods, we give them free fireworks," Smith said. "It's incentive, who doesn't want to help out, be safe, and get free fireworks?"
Harvick said it's important to have water nearby and to not shoot fireworks into tall grass.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, more fires are reported on July 4 than any other day of the year. However only 2 out 5 fires reported were started by fireworks. The others were caused by grilling or other recreational incidents.