Fire officials and Mayor Carl Brewer on Wednesday urged 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 the below safety tips:
- Keep fireworks away from grassy areas or structures. If it’s windy, do not set off fireworks; instead attend a local fireworks show such.
- Place 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.
- Supervise children using fireworks and make certain they are age appropriate.
- Set a good example: use fireworks the way they’re designed to be used.
Fire officials also reminded residents fireworks purchased in surrounding cities and counties, may be illegal in the City of Wichita. Sedgwick County’s recent approval to allow fireworks in unincorporated areas July 1 through 5 does not apply to Wichita. In Wichita, fireworks can be lawfully sold June 27 through July 5. The Wichita 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 $500 in fines and one year in jail.
“The best advice is to shoot them in the community where you buy them,” Wichita Fire Marshal Brad Crisp said.
For further information or questions, residents should call Fire Prevention at 268-4441.
For a list of approved fireworks and additional safety tips, visit www.wichita.gov.