The 4th of July is coming up Wednesday and firework stands have opened up all around East Texas.  In my neighborhood alone, there are four stands selling the them and I’m sure I’ll be stopping by one of them soon to buy some because my daughter has asked when we’re buying fireworks!  She began asking the day she saw those portable stands show up on the roadside.

As we get ready to celebrate our nation’s independence with fireworks, we’ve gotta think about safety.  I hear stories every year about someone getting severely injured while playing with fireworks or someone loses property or their home due to fire.  So if you take a few simple precautions and celebrate responsibly we all can enjoy a safe 4th of July.

Here are a few safety tips and reminders when using fireworks from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:

- Fireworks are to be used outdoors only
- Obey local laws and restrictions (if established) on certain fireworks
- Keep water nearby in case of a fire
- Never use homemade fireworks
- Keep spectators a safe distance from fireworks being discharged
- Children should never light fireworks
- Read all instructional and warning labels
- Light one firework at a time
- Never hold a lit firework
- Do not point fireworks at spectators
- Clean up debris after your fireworks display has cooled off (usually around 20 minutes)

If you follow these simple safety tips and just use good old fashioned common sense, you’ll have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Most cities in East Texas generally prohibit fireworks being shot off within city limits and in some cases it is illegal to possess fireworks within the city.  Check with your city to get the specifics on fireworks and if they are allowed in your community.