ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The clock strikes midnight and what do you hear throughout Abilene? Fireworks! As you ring in 2023, there are some safety concerns one local business owner wants to remind everyone.
The spectacle and celebration of ringing in the new year provides some fanfare for all the things we’ve seen and done in the past year, and some hope for a new year full of possibilities. Nowhere is this spectacle more apparent than in our grand fireworks tradition.
“It strikes awe in your heart and we absolutely love it,” Said Lex Smith, Co-Owner of BoomBah fireworks.
Smith’s love of fireworks, and the wonder they inspire, is rivaled only by her commitment to safety and the practicality of her trade.
“This is an explosive and that is a responsibility that you’re accepting the minute you take this responsibly on,” Smith said in reference to an artillery shell firework.
While a bright night sky can inspire and amaze, your dazzling December-January display can just as easily turn to disaster and spark a fire or worse if you’re not celebrating responsibly.
“During the new year’s you hear a lot about designated drivers, but something we also like to talk about is ‘designated detonators,'” warned Smith.
The packaging may be fun and colorful, but fireworks are far from toys and should be treated as such. What’s more, impaired judgment just doesn’t mix with explosives.
“[The bottom of a launching tube] is a small surface area. So, if this is an uneven surface, that’s a lot of firepower coming out so what we tell people to do is get some really heavy bricks,” Smith explained. “And that way, it’s solid and it doesn’t tip over when it ignites.”
Being aware of the warnings printed on each firework can also give you an idea of just how much bang your buck has bought you – an impact you don’t want to experience anywhere near the ground. That’s why it’s important to set off each firework on their own far from the others. This includes artillery shells, fountains and anything that can throw off a spark.
“Even though it doesn’t burst into the air, it can still tip over and you can’t outrun it. You don’t want to try,” advised Smith.
Because the new year is better enjoyed when the lights burn through the sky, not your lawn. A show as grand as the one you have planned deserves a proper backdrop like the open air.
“It’s just a great unifier, something magical about it,” Smith laughed. “I love it.”
For the rest of the Big Country, Eastland County is currently under a burn ban. Other counties still have time to enact bans but have not yet done so. Before planning your festivities, check in with your local fire department to see if a ban is in effect in your area.