Mayor Carl Brewer and Wichita Fire Department officials are urging residents to take precautions when shooting fireworks during the 4th of July holiday. Hot and dry weather conditions can increase the risk of grass and structural fires. Conditions are ideal for small fires to spread swiftly.
Residents should follow these safety tips:
- Supervise children using fireworks and make certain they are age-appropriate;
- Keep fireworks away from grassy areas or structures;
- Do not shoot fireworks, if it’s windy (instead attend a local fireworks show);
- Keep a garden hose and bucket of water nearby to douse fireworks;
- Do not re-light a firework (let it sit for a while and then place it in a pail of water);
- Set a good example: use fireworks the way they’re designed to be used.
Fire officials also reminded residents that fireworks purchased in surrounding cities and counties may be illegal in the City of Wichita. Sedgwick County’s approval to allow fireworks in unincorporated areas - between July 1 and 4 - does not apply to Wichita.
In Wichita, fireworks can be lawfully sold Monday, June 27 through Tuesday, July 5. The legal shooting times for fireworks in Wichita are from 6 a.m. to midnight. The Fire Department and the Wichita Police Department will enforce local fireworks laws. That includes issuing citations and confiscating illegal fireworks. Citations will result in a mandatory court appearance, a fine and possible jail time. Those convicted face up to $2,500 in fines and one year in jail.
In 2010, there were 15 fireworks-related fires resulting in $103,000 in damage to property. Additionally there were 33 injuries to citizens ranging in age from 2-years old to 55-years old.
“The best advice is: shoot them where you buy them,” Wichita Fire Marshal Brad Crisp said.
For further information or questions, please call Fire Prevention at 268-4441.
For a list of approved fireworks and additional safety tips, visit www.wichita.gov.