Keeping You Safe: Fire Marshals Inspecting Fireworks Stands Night And Day - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/1/05-Tyler

Keeping You Safe: Fire Marshals Inspecting Fireworks Stands Night And Day

  Working to protect you this Fourth of July.
  The Smith County Fire Marshals' office is working around the clock the next few days, checking the safety of local fireworks stands.
  As you prepare to do some fire cracking this weekend, Smith County Fire Marshals are making sure sellers are not cracking the codes.
  "If we don't make sure the stand operators are making sure they are operating their stands safely, then the consumer can definitely not operate the products they buy safely," said Smith County Fire Marshal Jim Seaton.
  About 63 stands are operating this year in Smith County. Officials are not letting anything slide.
On their checklist: illegal items, permits, fire extinguishers, and even the size of letters on signs.
  "It seems like they are being a little more careful and everything," said stand operator Anna Seiden.
By state codes, if you buy fireworks at a stand, the person selling them to you has to be at least 16.
But, that was not the problem one group teens working a local stand faced. Two stands on Highway 69 were on the highway rightaway, that's state property.
  "We had to move down back about 20 or 30 feet so that makes us have a problem to where we have to take everything down now," said Andrew Kennemer. "It's going to cause a problem but,  I mean we got to do it or they are going to shut us down."
  About 10 stands have been shutdown for violations so far. With the buying rush expected to hit, operators said they will make sure their stands make the grade.
  Operators have a chance to correct violations, and request re-inspections to remain open. Smith    County Fire Marshal's said with so many stands in operation, they will be going over paperwork and conducting inspections even over the weekend.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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