Stillwater News Press

July 2, 2013

Take precautions when shooting fireworks

By Megan Sando
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Fourth of July revelers can legally shoot off fireworks in Perkins and Yale this week, but it is illegal in Cushing and Stillwater.

Fireworks can be discharged in Perkins from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to midnight Thursday. In Yale, fireworks can be set off in the city limits until 10 p.m. Wednesday and midnight Thursday.

Yale police also expect to have extra units available this weekend.

In Stillwater, setting off fireworks inside the city limits violates a city ordinance.

Stillwater Police Department Capt. Randy Dickerson said calls about fireworks increase before and after the Fourth. Stillwater police also will add patrols during the holiday.

Cushing will also see an increased police presence overall. Police Chief Tully Folden said officers look for fireworks set off in city limits because it is illegal.

“Obviously, be of aware of your surroundings, use a first-aid kit and engage in proper use of fireworks,” Folden said.

It is legal to set off fireworks in rural areas of Payne County, Sheriff R.B. Hauf said. It is illegal to set off fireworks on bridges or road stops.

“We’ll be looking for people stopped on county roads and bridges popping fireworks, which is illegal,” Hauf said.

Any calls concerning bridge or road stops or trash are cause for a citation.

Local police officers and firefighters urge residents to take precautions to ensure safety and reduce the likelihood of accidents.

Hauf said common sense is the best defense when it comes to fireworks. It is best to set off fireworks outside the city limits only, avoid high grass or wooded areas and don’t hold and light them.

Perkins Fire Chief Joseph Barta said there have been few major injuries reported in the last five years.

Weather conditions will determine how many accidents are reported. In drier conditions, it may cause a spike in grass fires.

Stillwater Fire Marshal Trent Hawkins said there likely will be an increase in grass fires.

Fire safety information is available online at the National Fire Protection Association. According to its website, more fires are reported on Independence Day than on any other day.

Hauf also recommends a designated driver to avoid drunken driving. There will be additional deputy’s on staff for DUI enforcement.

Some safety tips from the NFPA warn that it is best to leave fireworks to professionals, that children should never pick up fireworks after a display because they may still be active and that fireworks reach high temperatures. A Fourth of July favorite, the sparkler, reaches 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.