The highly-publicized loss of a finger by a professional football player as a result of fireworks serves to emphasize their danger, says Fire Marshal Bryan Ausenbaugh. A defensive end for the New York Giants lost an index finger and portions of other fingers over the July Fourth holiday this year.
“The football player is one of almost 10,000 people across the US who are treated annually in hospitals because of fireworks accidents,” said Ausenbaugh. “Many people injure their hands; others lose eyes or sustain serious burns. Fireworks are dangerous, especially in the hands of youngsters or those impaired by alcohol.”
In addition to injuries, fireworks were the cause of an estimated 22,500 reported fires in 2008. Of those, 1,400 were total structure fires, 500 were vehicle fires, and the remainder were field and other fires. In all, these fires resulted in $42 million in direct property damage.
“In Prosper, residents and visitors should be aware of Ordinance #00-13,” he said. “It specifically prohibits fireworks within the town limits, within the extraterritorial jurisdiction and up to 5,000 feet beyond those boundaries.”
The ordinance does allow professionally-managed fireworks displays with the proper permits, inspections, and proof of a surety bond.
Violations of this ordinance will be penalized with a citation and, if proven guilty, persons could face fines up to $2,000 for each offense.
“The fireworks restriction is, of course, in the interest of protection of property and personal safety,” he added. “The members of the Prosper Fire Department wish everyone a safe and happy holiday, and refraining from fireworks will help ensure that.”
Questions on the ordinance can be referred to the Prosper Fire Department at 972-346-9469. To view the ordinance, residents should visit www.prospertx.gov.