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Residential fire deaths have decreased steadily as the number of homes with smoke detectors has increased. Reports from the National Fire Protection Association on residential fire deaths show that people have nearly a 50 percent better chance of surviving a fire if their home has the recommended number of smoke detectors.
Smoke detectors that are 10 years old are near the end of their service life and should be replaced. A smoke detector monitors the air 24 hours a day. At the end of 10 years, it has gone through over 3.5 million monitoring cycles. After this much use, components may become less reliable. This means that as the detector gets older, the potential of failing to detect a fire increases. Replacing them after 10 years reduces this possibility.
Any firework that must be ignited by a heat source is illegal to possess or discharge. Small items such as "poppers" are not prohibited. Individuals are subject to confiscation of all fireworks found in their possession and a fine up to $2,000 plus court costs.
Fireworks also may not be discharged on federal, state, or county roadways. If individuals plan to discharge fireworks on private property not belonging to them, they must have a written letter of permission from the land owner.
The Midland Fire Department also reminds citizens to use caution when discharging fireworks. Eye and burn injuries are common among children, and they should be supervised by an adult. Devices such as sparklers may reach temperatures exceeding 1,000 degrees.
Grass fires are another potential risk during fireworks season. Have at least one of the following extinguishing agents available while discharging fireworks: water, sand or dirt, or a portable fire extinguisher. Never hesitate to call 911 if a fire develops.
For questions about code enforcement, building codes, construction permits and fees/fee schedules for other departments within the City of Midland, please contact City of Midland's Code Division at 432-685-7391.