Firework Safety

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With New Years Eve fast approaching, safety officials are warning consumers that using fireworks can be dangerous.

Since there is no burn ban in Brazos County, fireworks enthusiasts are stocking up for a sparkling celebration.

But with the excitement comes a danger many don't take seriously.

"It really is a risky proposition," Bart Humphreys with the College Station Fire Department said.

In 2003, there were over 9,000 fireworks injuries treated in hospitals nationwide and six deaths linked to fireworks.

It's an issue that's even being addressed.

"We really encourage people to exercise extreme caution and to keep an eye on the little ones, " Humphreys said. "We want everybody to have a safe holiday."

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has put out a list of warnings when using fireworks.

The tips include not letting children play or ignite fireworks, reading and following warnings and instructions, watching for other people, using them in an open area, not relighting fireworks, and keeping a bucket of water nearby.

"The vast majority of injuries we see are people under the age of 25," Humphreys said. "Some of the injuries are pretty devastating, people lose fingers, eyes and things like that."

Also fireworks are not allowed within city limits and doing so could result in a hefty fine.

"Possession or discharge of fireworks inside the city limits of Bryan and College Station or within 5,000 feet of the city limits is illegal," Humphreys said. "It can carry a fine up to $2000."

Safety officials encourage consumers to get permission before using fireworks on private property and they say observing a professional display is better than taking on the risk.