For many, the Fourth of July holiday is all about gathering with friends and setting off fireworks, but officials are reminding people to obey laws and take precautions.
People cannot set off fireworks within the city limits or in a city park, said Don Martin, the police department’s public information officer. Violators could be fined.
The fireworks ban includes Lindsey Park prior to the Fourth of July celebration, which begins at 4 p.m.
The city and police department are enacting measures to help with traffic near the park before and after the fireworks show.
The park will be closed until 2 p.m. Thursday, so officials can prepare for the event, according to information from the city.
When the park opens, Tyler Transit will offer free rides there with departures about every 30 minutes from Harvey Convention Center, 2000 W. Front St.; Tyler Junior College West Campus, 1530 SSW Loop 323; and Tyler ISD offices, 1319 Earl Campbell Parkway, according to a news release.
People cannot bring alcohol or fireworks into the park or smoke in the park.
Beginning at 9 p.m. Thursday, Spur 364 at Loop 323 will be closed to westbound traffic, to help ease the congestion caused by people who will be leaving the fireworks show.
Martin said it is against the law and can cause harm to fire a gun into the air as a way to celebrate the holiday.
“The reckless use of any firearm is hazardous, and the act of indiscriminately discharging a firearm in celebration is not as harmless as some believe,” according to a news release from Martin.
People are allowed to sell and set off fireworks in unincorporated areas under most circumstances.
However, under state law, people cannot set off fireworks within 100 feet of a place that sells fireworks, from a moving vehicle or within 600 feet of a church, hospital or school without permission.
Only licensed professionals can conduct a fireworks show.
State laws also regulate the manufacturing and sale of fireworks and prohibit fireworks from being sold near storage of flammable liquids or compressed gas.
When igniting fireworks in rural areas, the Texas Fire Marshal’s Office is encouraging people to:
- Follow instructions on packages.
- Have adult supervision.
- Stay away from buildings, dry grass and brush.
- Keep a water source nearby.
- Never aim fireworks at people.
- Dispose of used fireworks in water.
Through Friday, Department of Public Safety troopers will be out in force as part of Operation CARE (Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort) and Operation Holiday.
Operation Holiday is geared toward individuals who break traffic laws. Operation CARE focuses on violations of laws that require motorists to move over or slow down when they encounter emergency and road construction vehicles with flashing lights on the side of the road.
The SPCA of East Texas is advising pet owners to keep pets indoors when fireworks are being ignited because the noise often scares pets.