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Fort Worth tries to keep fireworks complaints from spiking again this year

This photo, taken by Hurst resident Mary Hulshouser on the night of July 3, won the Fort Worth Report’s July photo contest titled, Patriotism.
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Mary Hulshouser
This photo, taken by Hurst resident Mary Hulshouser on the night of July 3, won the Fort Worth Report’s July photo contest titled, Patriotism.

As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, Fort Worth first responders are reminding residents about firework safety.

During a June 4 City Council meeting, the Fort Worth fire and police departments provided a rundown of firework dangers and safety precautions residents should take if they ignite firecrackers outside of city limits.

Officials stressed that residents can only set off fireworks in unincorporated areas of Tarrant County. Possessing and setting off fireworks inside Fort Worth city limits is illegal, and violators may face a Class C misdemeanor citation and fine.

“We’re going to be communicating through social media to get the message out to everybody that we are going to be out, and that fireworks are dangerous,” Assistant Police Chief Robert Alldredge said.

Reports of illegal fireworks spiked in 2023. The city received 2,437 calls about fireworks on Independence Day and the day before, according to police data presented to Fort Worth City Council in March. That was 458 more calls than the year before, or a 23% increase.

Council member Macy Hill said she was concerned about access to information on which firework shows are permitted inside the city. The city plans to post a list of permitted firework shows on social media, Alldredge told Hill.

Fireworks can damage areas in which they spark fires in grass, shrubs, trees and even buildings, according to Fort Worth’s code compliance department.

Improper handling of fireworks may result in burns and eye wounds, two of the most common injuries seen at Texas Health Arlington Memorial.

Residents who illegally possess, hold, sell, deliver or manufacture fireworks may receive a fine of up to $2,000, Alldredge said.

Residents may report illegal fireworks by calling 817-392-4444 or visiting this site; 911 should be used only for emergency situations.

Residents also may report fireworks through the MyFW mobile app, Allredge said.

“We want you to utilize the fireworks hotline. That’s very very very important. The Fourth of July is a very resource intensive event for us,” Alldredge said.

Fireworks should be disposed of properly through the fire department. Call 817-392-6850 or email FWFire@fortworthtexas.gov to schedule a pickup or dropoff of fireworks.

Georgie London is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at georgie.london@fortworthreport.org.

At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

This article first appeared on Fort Worth Report and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.