Area firework stands have opened their doors for the 2019 Fourth of July season. As people prepare for celebrations across the county, local sellers have been anticipating high sales ahead of Thursday.

“The rain definitely helps,” Robin Hopper said as gray clouds crowded the sky above the Mad Max fireworks stand on the corner of State Highway 691 and Travis Street in Denison.

Hopper said she has been working fireworks stands for about 15 years now.

“So far so good,” she said of the season. “The first week’s always slow but it gets better.”

She said the biggest sellers are the artillery shells and the big cakes are the

“It just varies anywhere from $100 at a time to $700 at a time,” she said of the average amount spent on the explosive devices.

Little children, she said, do spend less when their parents allow them to approach the stand by themselves. But even those customers, have something in mind.

“They usually know exactly what they want,” Hopper said of the youngsters who approach her stand. The adults, she said, sometimes take longer to decide.

Nationally, says Americans will spend an estimated $1 billion on fireworks. Likewise the site said 40 percent of Americans will attend some sort of fireworks display over the holiday and there are 16,000 of such displays put on each year. The site said the costs of those shows varies between $25,000 and $100,000 for the bigger shows.

The National Safety Council advises that it is safest to leave the fireworks to professionals. Its website says that fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires nationally each year and eight people died and 12,000 were injured in 2017 from fireworks related incidents.

Most local cities and towns forbid the use of fireworks in their city limits.

Those who do want to use fireworks should keep some safety tips in mind:

• Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol;

• Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands;

• Never light fireworks indoors;

• Never point or throw fireworks at another person;

• Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks;

• Keep a bucket or water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire.