WICHITA, Kansas — Local fireworks tents opened for business Saturday and will stay open until July 5th.
The City of Wichita on Friday reminded residents to stay safe with fireworks and gave a number for people to call if they witness the use of illegal fireworks. For non-emergency fireworks use on July 3rd and 4th, residents are asked to call 290-1011. If there is an emergency, such as a fire or injury, you should call 911 immediately.
Last year, the police and fire departments in Wichita responded to 13 fire and explosion calls while area hospitals treated 32 people for various fireworks-related injuries. They also received 705 fireworks-related complaints from June 27 through July 5 last year.
“We want people to celebrate the Fourth of July in a safe way,” said WPD Lieutenant James Espinoza. “Be respectful of your neighbors and help us help you.”
Police and Fire officials offered the following safe tips:
- Use only fireworks sold in Wichita (others may be illegal);
- Keep fireworks away from grassy areas or structures;
- Do not light fireworks if it’s windy;
- Place a garden hose and/or water bucket nearby to douse fireworks;
- Closely supervise children using fireworks;
- Set a good example: use fireworks as they are designed to be used;
The WFD and WPD will enforce local fireworks laws, which can include the issuing of citations and confiscating illegal fireworks. Citations will result in a mandatory court appearance. Those convicted face up to $2,500 in fines and possibly up to a year in jail.
You can also celebrate the holiday by attending the Independence Day Block Party from noon until 10:30 p.m. on July 4 in downtown near the Arkansas River. For additional information, including a list of approved fireworks, please contact Fire Prevention at 268-4441, visit the City of Wichita website, or visit the Wichita Fire Department on Facebook.