Fireworks celebrations on the July 4th Independence Day holiday can be a fun family tradition, but if used improperly can lead to injuries and destruction of property.
The Central Valley Fireworks Task Force, made up of a collaborative effort between the Clovis Fire Department, Fresno County Fire Protection District, CAL FIRE and the Fresno City Fire Department, will again be enforcing a “Zero Tolerance” policy against the possession and use of illegal fireworks this year. The Task Force also wants to educate and inform the public on the dangers and proper use “Safe and Sane” fireworks and remind residents about the serious threat of fire danger if fireworks, including those carrying the “Safe and Sane” seal, are used incorrectly near dry vegetation.
During the 4th of July holiday each agency making up the Central Valley Fireworks Task Force, in partnership with local law enforcement, will be canvassing the cities and rural areas in both marked and unmarked vehicles to minimize the dangers posed by illegal fireworks and enforce the law. As always, the departments are offering amnesty to those individuals who wish to drop off illegal fireworks at any area fire station.
Illegal fireworks include sky rockets, bottle rockets, roman candles, aerial shells, firecrackers and other types that explode, go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner. It is illegal to sell, transport, or use fireworks that do not carry the “Safe and Sane” seal, as well as possess, use or modify any fireworks in a community where they are not permitted. If convicted, a violator could be fined up to $50,000 as well as face criminal charges including penalties of up to one year in prison. In the City of Clovis, individuals who use illegal or modify “Safe and Sane” fireworks will be fined $1,000 per occurrence. The California State Fire Marshal says illegal fireworks account for 92 percent of the fire damage and injuries caused by fireworks each year.
This July 4th, the Fresno County Fire Protection District and cities of Fresno and Clovis will allow the use of state-approved “Safe and Sane” fireworks on the valley floor to celebrate our nation’s birthday. In areas generally east of the Friant-Kern Canal, west of Interstate 5, and in the River Bluff area of northern Fresno city NO FIREWORKS are allowed due to the risk of fires starting in the vegetation. Fireworks stands will be selling only approved “Safe and Sane” fireworks. The purchase of “Safe and Sane” fireworks will be allowed from noon on June 28, 2017 through noon of July 5, 2019.
· 33% of the fireworks products tested by Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) were noncompliant with federal regulations.
· 240 people on average go to the emergency room every day with fireworks related injuries in the 30-days around 4th of July.
· Most injured body parts from fireworks; 16% eyes, 22% heads, 36% hands/fingers, 5% arms, 7% trunks, 14% legs. Of all the injures, 62% were from burns.
· On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.