Firefighters offer firework safety steps for legal use

Firefighters offer firework safety steps for legal use
Source: KOLD
Source: KOLD
Source: KOLD
Source: KOLD
Source: KOLD

Firefighters are putting out the warning about fireworks on this 4th of July weekend and are working to help you avoid a dangerous situation at your home.

Several kinds of fireworks are legal in Pima County, but they are illegal within Tucson city limits.

Those allowed include sparklers, cone fountains, ground spinners, smoke devices, and glow worms.

What's not permitted are aerials - or fireworks designed to fly into the air and explode. That includes bottle rockets and roman candles.

Walking into tents like Desert Sky Fireworks near Cortaro Road and Interstate 10, you can be a kid in a candy store when searching for legal fireworks. But even the employees realize knowledge is power.

"I look at every firework, so I could learn about all of them and figure out what they do," said Aydin Kerr, who works at the fireworks tent.

It's why Golder Ranch Fire District Deputy Chief Grant Cesarek is explaining what to do to avoid that danger.

"When you say fireworks, I start thinking toward that safety motto to make sure the public is safe," Cesarek said.

He explained that you should have water nearby and be in a clear space free of brush, trees, and structures, to avoid fires. Specifically, an area about 30 feet away from any of those dangerous fuels.

"Have some sort of a water source. If you did have a small fire that was starting to spread, you could put it out immediately," Cesarek said. "You light it in an area where you're away from vegetation, and you're away from any other combustible items."

Cesarek warned that you should never allow your children to light even the smallest of fireworks, including sparklers.

"The problem is that most of the time, an adult would light that and hands it off to a young child," he said. "That sparkler is producing about 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit."

And if you give the larger ground fireworks a try, Cesarek said to wait until the firework is completely out, and then douse it with water to extinguish it and avoid larger problems.

"That small little ember from the firework causes something larger that you never saw happening."

More Safety Tips

  • Always have an adult present.
  • Buy from reliable sellers.
  • Use outdoors only.
  • Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket).
  • Never experiment or make your own fireworks.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never re-light a "dud" firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).
  • Never give fireworks to small children. Even sparklers are dangerous to a child.They burn at the temp of more than 1,200 degrees. Glass melts at 900 degrees.
  • If necessary, store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trash can.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • The shooter should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.
  • Stay away from illegal explosives.

Protect Your Pets

The noise and lights of fireworks often frighten some animals, so it is very important that you are careful with pets and farm animals.

You may want to consider moving the animals away or keeping them inside during your display. Please be considerate of your pets and animals when using fireworks.

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