Austin-Area Damage Restoration Company Shares Fireworks Safety Tips
Summary: SERVPRO of Lakeway/Westlake urges people to use caution when shooting off fireworks.
Fourth of July celebrations and fireworks are a significant part of the American tradition. SERVPRO of Lakeway/Westlake, a damage restoration company, encourages residents of Austin, Lakeway Hills, Westlake, Rollingwood, and surrounding areas to exercise caution when enjoying this tradition.
The first use of fireworks in a July 4th celebration was in Boston, MA, in 1777. Founding father, John Adams said he wanted the anniversary of independence to be remembered for years with such things as “bonfires” and “illuminations.” Since the first July 4th fireworks display occurred during the Revolutionary War, some historians think the fireworks were intended as a “morale booster.” The first celebrations would have also included the firing of guns and cannons, adding to the explosive nature of the festivities.
Fireworks Can Be Dangerous
The National Fire Protection Association provides these fireworks fire and injury statistics to drive home the potential danger that can arise from improperly handling fireworks. “Fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires in 2018, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage. In 2018, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,100 people for fireworks-related injuries; half of those injuries were to the extremities and 34% were to the eye or other parts of the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than one-third (36%) of the estimated 2018 injuries. These injury estimates were obtained or derived from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2018 Fireworks Annual Report by Yongling Tu and Jason Ng.”
How to Stay Safe When Using Fireworks
The Texas Department of Insurance offers these fireworks safety tips to know to have fun with fireworks and stay safe.
- Follow local rules.
Some areas allow only certain types of fireworks, and most areas do not allow fireworks within city limits or during burn bans. Follow the local law and contact the local fire officials if there are any questions.
- Find out if a permit is required.
Organizers will need a permit from the local fire department if they are shooting off fireworks for a group of fifty people or larger.
- Hire licensed professionals
If someone is hired to put on a display for a group, ensure that he or she has a Texas pyrotechnic operator’s license. To find out if a person has a Texas license, contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office by email at Fire.Marshal@tdi.texas.gov or by phone at 1-800-578-4677.
- Make sure fireworks are legal.
Fireworks can only be sold at specified times of the year, typically within a week or so leading up to an important holiday. Besides the Fourth of July and New Year’s celebrations, Texas counties may also include Texas Independence Day (March 2nd), San Jacinto Day (April 21st), Cinco de Mayo (May 5th), and Memorial Day. Anyone can use fireworks any day of the year as long as the fireworks are not banned in the area where they are being used.
- Be safe!
It is essential to follow safety practices whenever fireworks are used. Children should not play with fireworks, and an adult or adults should always be vigilant whenever children are near fireworks. In addition, never consume alcohol when setting off fireworks. Follow the instructions on the firework, and only use the explosive in the way it is intended to be used. The fireworks set up should not be near brush, dry grass, flammable materials, or flammable substances. Never aim fireworks at a house, structure, person, or animal. In case of emergencies, keep a bucket of water, garden hose, or other water sources nearby.
SERVPRO provides these fireworks safety tips as a public service to the residents of Austin, Lakeway Hills, Westlake, Rollingwood, and surrounding areas in the hopes that everyone will have an enjoyable, safe, and patriotic Fourth of July.
Fire and Water Damage Restoration Process
When a home or business is dealing with the aftermath of a fire, the damage that it can cause to the property structure and valuable possessions can be extremely devastating. Here at SERVPRO, the team understands the stress, confusion, and all the emotions that are present when dealing with this kind of ordeal. The SERVPRO technicians are highly skilled and certified, as well as equipped with fire damage restoration equipment to take special care of the client’s property and possessions. The SERVPRO team will be there with the customer every step along the way to explain the process to help get them through this stressful time.
After the fire trucks leave, the home or business likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO has the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore a home to its pre-fire condition.
Every fire damage event requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate the process for the typical fire damage emergency.
Step 1: Emergency Contact
The restoration process begins when a customer calls SERVPRO. A representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help SERVPRO respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources.
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
SERVPRO technicians carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of the property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service
Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, the team can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (If Water Damage Is Present)
The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. SERVPRO technicians then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
Specialized equipment and techniques are used to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.
Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing
Skilled technicians clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. SERVPRO employs a variety of cleaning techniques to restore belongings to their pre-fire conditions. The SERVPRO specialists are also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
Step 7: Restoration
Restoration is the final step—getting a home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
SERVPRO of Lakeway/Westlake hopes that everyone’s Fourth of July celebration will be safe and enjoyable. The team of fire and water damage experts is proud to serve Austin, Lakeway, West Lake Hills, and Rollingwood, TX.
To learn more about fire and water damage restoration, visit the SERVPRO of Lakeway/Westlake at https://www.SERVPROlakewaywestlake.com. Contact a SERVPRO representative by phone at (512) 261-4790.