Fireworks safety

In January, Linda Clevenger worked at a fireworks stand. Her and husband Don Clevenger have operated a stand outside of Taylor on Hwy 95 since 2015. Photo by Jason Hennington

When many people think of Independence Day celebrations, they think of fireworks; however, most jurisdictions have city ordinances prohibiting the use of fireworks within or near the city limits. If you are unsure of the ordinances, it is always safer to check with the city or local fire department prior to the purchase or discharge of fireworks. Fireworks are not permitted in Williamson County parks.

In Taylor, fireworks are prohibited inside the city limits and 5,000 feet outside city limits (per Ordinance 2009-14). According to City Ordinance 2009-14, fireworks are prohibited year-round within the city limits. The ordinance has been in place for many years, and prohibits the display, possession and discharge of fireworks within the city limits.

It is illegal to sell, be in possession of, and/or discharge fireworks in Taylor.

State statue extends that to 5,000 feet beyond the city limits. Violation of the ordinance can result in a fine up to $2,000.

Signs have been placed at all gateways, thorough fares and entrances to residential areas within Taylor to remind residents of the ordinance and that fireworks are against the law in the city limits.

Under the ordinance, fireworks include firecrackers, ladyfingers, torpedoes, skyrockets, Roman candles, dayglo bombs, sparklers and other devices containing any such explosive substance.

Williamson County officials believe the safest way to enjoy fireworks is by attending a professional fireworks display sponsored by various jurisdictions and organizations throughout the area. However, outside of the city limits fireworks are allowed.

Consumer fireworks can be dangerous when used improperly, causing serious burns and eye injuries. Always check with your local fire department/district for recommendations or suggested precautions to follow before deciding to use them.

The Williamson County Fire Marshal’s Office has these tips for keeping you safe:

Before you shoot:

• Do not let your children buy fireworks without adult supervision

• Only buy from reliable fireworks sellers

• Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks

• Store fireworks in a cool, dry place

• Find a smooth, flat surface, away from the house or other buildings, dry leaves or grass

• Be sure to have water handy in case of a malfunction or fire

• Always have adult supervision

When you’re ready to shoot:

• Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks

• Always read and follow label directions, warnings, and instructions

• Be considerate of your neighbors

• Only ignite fireworks outdoors and away from houses and outbuildings

• Light only one firework at a time

• Never try to re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned

• Never give fireworks to small children, even sparklers cause serious burns

• Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks

• Never throw fireworks at another person, vehicle, or animal

• Never carry fireworks in your pocket

• Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers

• Dispose of spent fireworks properly

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