With the 4th of July holiday approaching, Wichita Fire Department (WFD) officials on Thursday reminded residents to take precautions when shooting fireworks. They warned residents about the added danger of hot and windy weather and offered the following safety tips:
- Consider attending a fireworks show in the area;
- Keep fireworks away from grassy areas or structures;
- Do not light fireworks if it’s windy;
- Use fireworks only sold in Wichita (others may be illegal);
- Place a garden hose and/or water bucket nearby to douse fireworks;
- Closely supervise children using fireworks;
- And set a good example by using fireworks as they are designed to be used;
In Wichita, fireworks may be lawfully sold beginning, Friday, June 27 through Saturday, July 5. Legal fireworks may be discharged during the same time period, between the hours of 6 a.m. and midnight each day.
Buying and using fireworks tested and approved by the WFD in a safe manner will help prevent accidents and injuries. Approved fireworks emit sparks no more than six-feet in any direction, and are not labeled as emitting flaming balls.
The WFD and Wichita Police Department (WPD) will enforce local fireworks laws, which can include citations and confiscation of illegal fireworks. Citations will result in a mandatory court appearance. Those convicted face up to $2,500 in fines and possibly up to a year in jail.
Sedgwick County Emergency Communications will staff a non-emergency line (290-1011) for fireworks complaints from 6:30 p.m. until 3 a.m., July 3 through 5. During non-operational hours, calls to the non-emergency line will transfer to the 911 system.
The WFD is also surveying citizens concerning fireworks usage in the city limits of Wichita. The survey is located at www.activate-wichita.com.
For additional information, including a list of approved fireworks, please contact Fire Prevention at 268-4441, visit www.wichita.gov, or find WFD on Facebook.