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Start the New Year off smart

Start the New Year off smart

Go into New Year’s Eve and 2020 on a high note with traditions, good food, plenty of laughter, an ever-hopeful resolution and loved ones by your side.

Not as another statistic.

Fireworks cause an estimated 18,500 fires in the U.S. each year and are the reason for almost 13,000 hospital emergency room visits, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

The beautiful displays of light and color are more powerful and dangerous than many people believe. While it may be tempting to shoot off fireworks to ring in the new year, it’s far safer to leave it to the pros.

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At Brazos River Authority reservoirs, Lakes Possum Kingdom, Granbury and Limestone, fireworks may be used on private property if allowable by local restrictions. However, fireworks cannot be fired off from a boat, dock or over the water.

With little rain this season, there are almost 100 counties across the state of Texas in a burn ban. It only takes one spark to cause some major damage. 

Over the last three months much of Texas, including most of the Brazos River basin, has received below normal rainfall, said BRA Water Services Manager Aaron Abel. Most areas across parts of the upper, central, and portions of the lower part of the basin have received only between 50 and 75 percent of the rain that normally falls during this three-month period, Abel said.

A map of current county burn ban updates may be found on the BRA website homepage or by clicking here.

If fireworks are legal to buy where you live and you choose to use them, be sure to follow the following safety tips from the National Safety Council:

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•    Never allow young children to handle fireworks
•    Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
•    Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
•    Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
•    Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
•    Never light fireworks indoors
•    Only use fireworks away from people, houses and flammable material
•    Never point or throw fireworks at another person
•    Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
•    Never ignite devices in a container
•    Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
•    Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
•    Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire
•    Never use illegal fireworks

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