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Central Texas fire departments are using creative messaging to remind people about the rules and the dangers related to fireworks. 

The Round Rock Fire Department posted a video featuring Elmo, while Cedar Park and New Braunfels shared photos of their firefighters holding up signs that said “Leave the fireworks to Katy Perry” and “911 is not for ‘annoying’ fireworks.”

The Georgetown Fire Department incorporated a TikTok trend and a crowd favorite, Koda the fire dog, in their video to social media.

“She is usually the star of the community engagement,” said Deputy Fire Marshal Jonathan Gilliam. “When you add some comedy to it, it really engages people a little bit.”

Comedy aside, the real message from Koda and surrounding departments this Fourth of July is knowing what’s legal and what’s not. If it is legal, know how to do it safely to prevent injury and prevent fire.

“Historically, last year we saw an increase of calls of about 50%,” said Captain Trevor Stokes, with Travis County ESD No. 2.

Also known as the Pflugerville Fire Department, it services the City of Pflugerville along with unincorporated areas of the county where fireworks are legal.

“We recommend having a water source, having a hose available, having a bucket full of water to dispose of fireworks after they have burned out completely to ensure that they’re not still on fire,” said Captain Stokes. “One of the things we also noticed is that people will sometimes take fireworks and put them into a plastic trash container. A lot of people have those rolling trash containers by their street side. You don’t want to be putting those in there unless they’ve been soaking in water for a period of time.” 

Captain Stokes also noted that sparklers can get extremely hot and be potentially dangerous, and kids should always be monitored.

In Georgetown and other Williamson County cities, fireworks are illegal within 5,000 feet past the city limits.

“I would say enjoy the fireworks that we’re putting on in the park,” said Gilliam. “That’ll help keep us safe and help keep our firefighters from running calls all night long.”

For a list of fireworks shows around Central Texas, click here.

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