Wichita Fire Department (WFD) officials are reminding residents to take precautions when shooting fireworks. With the 4th of July holiday approaching, Vice Mayor James Clendenin on Thursday reminded residents about the added danger of hot and windy weather and encouraged them to follow these safety tips:
• Keep fireworks away from grassy areas or structures;
• Do not light fireworks if it’s windy;
• Consider attending a fireworks show in the area;
• Use only fireworks 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 starting, Saturday, June 27 through Sunday, July 5. Legal fireworks may be discharged during that 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 the issuing of citations and confiscating 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 for fireworks complaints from 6:30 p.m. until 3 a.m. on July 3-4. During non-operational hours, any calls to that non-emergency line will transfer to the 911 system. The non-emergency phone number to use these nights will be 290-1011.
For additional information, including a list of approved fireworks, please contact Fire Prevention at 268-4441, please visit www.wichita.gov, or find WFD on Facebook.