Educate yourself on what’s legal before you set a light to those festive July Fourth combustibles 

click to enlarge sparkler and usa flag showing 4th of july - BIGSTOCK
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While there are dozens of opportunities to see fireworks displays in and around the metro, many Oklahomans also enjoy creating their own displays.

Unfortunately, the list of places it’s illegal to do so is a long one.

Additionally, lighting up at least one of the most popular fireworks — the bottle rocket — is unlawful across the state.

This season, follow these tips from local officials and the Consumer Product Safety Commission for a legal and safe Independence Day celebration.

No, no

Remember when you dropped a bottle rocket into an empty Coke bottle and lit it? At some point, people decided to forego the glass receptacle and started lighting those suckers in their own hands before chucking them skyward — or at friends or relatives.

All of it is illegal (and can cause major injury). The Legislature makes everything sound a little odd, so the statute actually refers to them as “skyrockets with sticks.”

Whatever you call them, stop using them. They’re illegal.

Bang, bang

Oklahoma City, Edmond, Bethany, Midwest City, Norman, Del City and Yukon ban discharge within city limits. Most cities make it illegal to sell or possess them, too.

The upside is a short drive will carry your family and your explosives to safe harbor. This week, you can shoot fireworks 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 9 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday in Choctaw, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday in Okarche and 3 p.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 9 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturday in Mustang, city officials said.

Be sure to check area burn bans, as Oklahoma County does not ban the ignition of fireworks in rural areas as long as a burn ban is not in effect.

Discharging fireworks in any Oklahoma state park is also illegal. To do so could result in a misdemeanor charge and a fine of $50 to $500.

Don’t shoot!

If you plan on using sky lanterns to recreate that scene from Disney’s Tangled for your would-be princess, don’t. The Legislature added those to the banned list in 2013, joining M-80s, skyrockets and cherry bombs.

Common sense

The following restrictions generally apply to the entire state, but most of them should be common sense.

For example, you cannot light fireworks in or throw them from a moving car.

You may not discharge them within 500 feet of a school or church either.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers more safety tips at cpsc.gov. Enter “fireworks” in the search field for related information.

Print headline: Fire safely, Educate yourself on what’s legal before you set a light to those festive July Fourth combustibles.

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Greg Horton

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