Firefighters urging families to have a safe Fourth - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Firefighters urging families to have a safe Fourth

For the first time in two years families out in Lubbock County can celebrate the Fourth with fireworks. There's no burn ban, but that doesn't mean the danger is gone.

"It's been really dry and over a hundred degrees almost every day this week," said West Carlisle Fire Chief Tim Smith. "Even though the moisture has increased a little, it is still dry and it will burn."

On Monday Smith says his fire fighters have already responded to several firework related calls, and the real celebrations are still a few days away. He's hoping that number doesn't skyrocket with the dry conditions.

"There's really no way of telling. I've been here about 25 years and I've seen as high as 40 or 50 in one night," he said. "Fireworks are only as safe as the person shooting them."

While people are looking to celebrate with a bang, Smith says you can stay safe by simply using common sense and by following these tips.

"Stay away from grassy areas. Have some sort of method for extinguishment like a bucket of water or a hose. Always follow the instructions on the package. Light the fuse and get away, and don't attempt to hold it in your hand," he warned. "If a fire does break out, don't try to extinguish it yourself and call 911."

For those emergencies, Smith says they'll have trucks stationed throughout the county for fast response. He also says his station along with others will have cookouts for the fire fighters and their families so they can be on standby at the stations.

So while you're out enjoying the firework festivities, keep in mind our local firefighters want to enjoy theirs as well. "It's putting firefighter's lives at risk every time we respond to a call. We're increasing our vulnerability. More firemen die every year going to calls and coming from the call, so if we can prevent the calls that's our goal. If these trucks didn't turn a wheel on the fourth it's ok with us," said Smith.

It is illegal to shoot fireworks inside Lubbock city limits. If you cause a fire due to fireworks you could be held responsible financially and legally for the damage.

Copyright 2012 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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