For the first time in years, the lack of drought conditions means there are no fireworks restrictions in Schleicher County. It is unlawful, however, to discharge fireworks of any kind inside the Eldorado city limits.

For those looking to celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, please be aware that each July 4th, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks - devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death.

Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.

In 2017, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 12,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 54 percent of those injuries were to the extremities and 36 percent were to the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than one-third of the 2017 injuries according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2015 Fireworks Annual Report.
Consider the following 12 safety tips and be safe this summer.

Know Your Local Laws

In many places, fireworks are illegal. If they are legal, read the caution labels and instructions for every firework you buy.

Stay Far Away From M-Class Fireworks (M-80s or M-100s)

These illegal explosives are extremely unpredictable and dangerous, and you should report them to the fire or police department or call the toll-free hotline 1-888-283-2662 if you see them.

No Brown Paper Packaging

Never purchase fireworks packaged in brown paper. Those are usually meant to be handled by trained professionals.

Always Be on Guard Around Fireworks

Fireworks are no joke, and you or someone else can get seriously injured while using them. They are inherently risky devices that require extreme caution and close attention to your surroundings.

Never Let Children Handle Fireworks, Even Sparklers

Sparklers burn hot enough to melt some metals—imagine what they could do to a kid’s hands. Keep a close eye on children at any events where people are lighting fireworks.

Keep Pets Inside

You may want your pets to join in on the fun, but most animals become extremely frightened by the loud noises and burning smells of fireworks and are likely to run away if they’re not kept safely inside.

Wear Safety Glasses

Remember to protect your eyes when shooting fireworks. Bottle rockets are notorious for going places where they weren’t aimed, even shooting into people’s faces. So, keep your eyes covered whenever possible.

Never Light a Firework in Your Hand

There’s no reason to ever do this. Fireworks should be well-secured on the ground in a way that it can’t be directed at other people.

Clear Area Around You

Light fireworks in an open, clear area away from cars and buildings to minimize contact with things that could catch fire. Don’t let anyone enter that space immediately before or after you light it. Keep in mind that you’ll need to make the space even larger with bigger fireworks.

Never Re-Light a ‘Dud’

Sometimes you get a fuse that may be slow and when you go back, it goes off. If it’s a bigger firework, you can have some really serious injuries. Wait at least 20 minutes before handling a “dud,” then soak it in a bucket of water. Keep buckets of water or a water hose nearby at all times.

Avoid Alcohol While Handling Fireworks

It’s just an accident waiting to happen, so save the booze for later. Apply heavy doses of common sense when alcohol and fireworks enter the equation.

Douse Everything When You’re Done

You don’t want a trash fire on your hands. Trash fires can and often do spread to surrounding areas, even nearby structures.

Remember, if you experience a skin burn or any injury to the eyes from fireworks, seek immediate medical attention. Don’t apply ointment, take pain meds, or attempt to remove any objects from the eye before going to the hospital.