The Austin Fire Department has declared a zero-tolerance stance for the upcoming 4th of July weekend, aiming to curb the illegal use of fireworks within the city limits. Those found in possession of fireworks in violation of the law will face severe consequences, including confiscation of their inventory and hefty fines.
According to AFD Division Chief Thayer Smith, the presence of fireworks within the city poses significant risks and dangers. He emphasized that there are alternative locations where people can safely enjoy fireworks, urging residents to explore those options instead.
The use of personal fireworks is prohibited within the City of Austin, and the fire department intends to leverage their ample staffing during the holiday weekend to enforce this regulation. Chief Smith highlighted that individuals caught with fireworks may receive citations amounting to as much as $800.
Chief Smith also underscored the correlation between fireworks and house fires in the city. Even if fireworks are used in areas outside the city limits, he stressed the importance of exercising caution due to the prevailing dry weather conditions, as a grass fire could still occur.
Meanwhile, American Fireworks, located near Highway 290 West, continues to operate normally. Jason Smalley, the inventory manager, expressed delight in witnessing both new and returning customers purchasing fireworks to commemorate the occasion. He viewed the celebrations as a time of joy, allowing people to come together and share a moment of independence with a dazzling display.
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Despite the festivities, Smalley emphasized the need for caution. Each firework sold at American Fireworks carries warning labels and safety instructions, which they strongly encourage buyers to follow. Smalley advised common-sense precautions, such as keeping a nearby water source, like a hose or bucket, to safely extinguish fireworks when necessary.