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It's fireworks season. Here's what Oklahomans need to know

Sebastien Cordat

Fourth of July means fireworks, barbecues and celebrating with family and friends, but there’s also the possibility of increased risk of fire and injury. Here’s how to stay safe while celebrating.

Health and safety

Firework-related injuries reach their peak in the summer months, especially around the Fourth of July, due to consumer use of fireworks.

People in their early 20s experience the highest rates of injuries. Hands and fingers are the most injured part of the body along with head, face and ears, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Adhere to the following safety measures before setting off any fireworks:

  • Never stand directly above a firework 
  • Be sure to move away from the firework after lighting it 
  • Wear protective eyewear 
  • Keep fireworks away from kids 
  • Avoid setting off fireworks while using drugs or alcohol

Before setting off fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area. It is illegal in Oklahoma City, Norman and Stillwater to purchase or set off illegal fireworks.
Oklahoma City is asking residents to call 911 only when someone is injured by fireworks and when fireworks cause fires. Illegal firework use should be reported to the city via a temporary hotline at (405) 297-2222 or online to keep the emergency lines clear.

If someone is injured by a firework or if a fire is started because of fireworks, residents should call 911.

Fire safety

Annually, fireworks cause tens of thousands of fires throughout the U.S. Take precautions beforehand to prevent any fires from starting.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends that firework users:

  • Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby in case a firework malfunctions or starts a fire 
  • Make sure that fireworks are extinguished before throwing them away 
  • Soak used devices in water to prevent dumpster fires 
  • Set fireworks off away from houses, trees, grass and anything flammable

If a firework starts a fire, call 911.

Pet safety

Since fireworks make loud noises and can cause fires and damage, ensure your furry friend is prioritized during the festivities.

  • Keep your pets indoors during fireworks shows 
  • Walk dogs before festivities 
  • Be sure to put your animal’s collar on just in case 
  • At least 40% of dogs have noise phobias. 
  • Try turning on soft music and moving animals into an interior room 
  • Use an anxiety vest to relax your pet
  • If your veterinarian decides antianxiety medication might be a fit for your animal, be sure to talk with them about possible side effects and steps you should take to prepare your animal. 

City celebrations

Cities across the state are holding firework displays this week for the July 4 holiday. With Independence Day falling on a Thursday, events are scattered throughout the week.

Below is a look at some of the big public fireworks displays.

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Anusha Fathepure is a summer intern at KOSU as part of the Inasmuch Foundation's Community Fellowship Class.
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