Celebrating the Fourth of July safely

People are celebrating the Fourth in patriotic style. But if not careful those celebrations can go wrong with you either facing a hefty fine or an injury. That's why authorities are working hard to keep the area safe this Fourth of July.

For generations, we've grown accustom to celebrating the Fourth with fireworks. But if not done correctly, those celebrations can cause fires and injuries. For that reason in the City of Amarillo, fireworks are not allowed.

"It's still a Class C misdemeanor but the fine is up to $2,000. You can not pose, discharge, fire off anything, any firework of any kind inside the city. There's some confusion with some folks if you have to light that device or the item in order for it to pop or sparkle or whatever then that is a firework," said Amarillo Police Department, Corporal Jerry Neufeld.

Last year, Amarillo Police officers responded to 450 firework calls. To handle those calls, police have extra officers on hand as well as for deterring drunk drivers and other violators. Meanwhile, our recent rainfalls may help keep the number of grassfires down started by those fleeing to Potter or Randall Counties to set off those fireworks. But authorities are still urging you to use caution.

"Follow the instructions on the package stay away from any ignited fuse or firework. Don't hold it in your hand. Basically, try to set it off in a safe area and have some water near by just in case," said Potter County Fire Department Chief, Richard Lake.

For those homeowners who spend time trying to protect their property, Chief Lake said you need to call authorities.

"They'll stop along the roadways and they'll stop on people's properties and just on and start igniting fireworks and stuff with no permission to be there".

Authorities also said you need to use common sense this Fourth to ensure that everyone gets to celebrate.