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Saxet Lakes open for New Year's Eve fireworks

By Sonny Long
Dec. 27, 2011 at 6:27 a.m.


BY THE NUMBERS

$38 million - Amount of direct property loss caused by fireworks in 2009

18,000 - Number of fires caused by fireworks in 2009

8,600 - Number of injuries caused by fireworks in 2010

2 out of 5 - People injured by fireworks in 2010 were under 15 years of age

SOURCE: Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Fire Protection Association

FIREWORKS SAFETY TIPS

Always read and follow label directions. Have adult supervision.Buy from reliable sellers.Use only outdoors.Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket).Never experiment or make your own fireworks.Light only one firework at a time.Never re-light a "dud" firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).Never give fireworks to small children.If necessary, store fireworks in a cool, dry place.Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trash can.Never throw or point fireworks at people.

Never carry fireworks in your pocket.Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.The shooter should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a "designated shooter."Only people over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.Do not ever use homemade fireworks of illegal explosives: They can kill you.Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department or the County Fire Marshal's Office in your community.SOURCE: Victoria County Fire Marshal's Office

Saxet Lakes will be a safe place to pop fireworks on New Year's Eve.

The park - on Timber Drive between Fordyce Road and Fox Road off U.S. Highway 59 South - will be available for revelers to make some noise with their fireworks from 5:30 p.m. Saturday until 12:30 a.m. Sunday, said David Phillips, Victoria County assistant fire chief.

"Volunteer fire departments from around Victoria County, along with the Victoria County Fire Marshal's Office, will be standing by at the location for safety," he said.

It is illegal to discharge fireworks from a public roadway or on public property and fireworks of any kind are illegal inside the city limits of Victoria, Phillips said.

The city code prohibits not only the discharge of fireworks, but also the manufacture, transport or sale of fireworks within the city limits, as well as within 5,000 feet of the city limits, said Thomas Legler, city fire marshal.

"Even with the recent rains, there is still a significant fire danger, as well as the potential for injury," said Legler. "The Victoria Fire Department encourages everyone to be safe this New Year's Eve."

Violation of the city code carries a fine of up to $2,000 per violation and confiscation of fireworks, Legler said.

Fireworks stands in the county have been open since before Christmas and operators expect sales to pick up closer to New Year's Eve.

"We will be real busy starting about Thursday. Last year we almost sold completely out," said Sonya Gomez, working the stand on U.S. Highway 87 North near the Flying J RV Park. "We are selling a lot of gift packs and sparklers."

Gomez, who has worked the stand for about six years for extra money during the holidays, said toy tanks that are new to the stand this year are also popular among the kids.

A variety of bottle rockets also continue to be top sellers, she said.

Aerial fireworks, also defined as "skyrockets with sticks" and "missiles with fins," are banned in Victoria, Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad and Jackson counties.

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