For many, the Fourth of July is a fun-filled afternoon of barbecuing and swimming, followed by an evening of fireworks with family and friends. But for others, the annual Independence Day celebration can turn tragic, due to the safety hazards involved with lighting fireworks.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 9,600 fireworks-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms across the nation in 2011.
In the same year, fireworks were also the cause of 17,800 fires that resulted in $32 million dollars in direct damage. According to the Turlock Fire Department, the hot weather can make this year’s fireworks especially dangerous.
Both the Turlock Fire Department and the Turlock Police Department will be on high alert on the Fourth of July, ready to issue citations to any citizens who use illegal fireworks.
Any citizen who wishes to report known illegal fireworks may call the Turlock Fire Department at (209) 668-1200 and provide information to the dispatch center.
The Turlock Fire Department would also like to remind citizens to consider the following important 4th of July Safety Tips:
– Fireworks should always be used with extreme caution and should only be handled by adults.
– Before using any fireworks, read and follow all warning and instruction printed on the label.
– Fireworks are only to be lit outdoors, in a clear area away from structures such as houses and buildings.
– Fireworks should be kept away from flammable materials, such as gasoline cans, lighter fluid, etc.
– Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for dousing fireworks that do not ignite.
– Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
– Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
– Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially glass or metal containers.
– Store fireworks in a dry and cool place. Check instructions for special storage directions.
– Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
– Only State and Fire Marshal approved “Safe and Sane” Fireworks are allowed.
– Piccolo Pete’s and/or Whistling Pete’s are illegal in the City of Turlock, as are any fireworks that have been modified/altered. This includes fireworks that fly into the air or explode. If anyone is found with these types of fireworks, they may be cited with a misdemeanor or infraction.
To learn more fireworks safety tips and precautions, visit the National Fire Protection Association’s full firework report at www.nfpa.org/fireworks.