All fireworks illegal in County, from sparklers to bottle rockets
July 1, 2009 (San Diego) -- The Fourth of July is almost upon us – a time for family picnics and fireworks displays. Yet all too often, the public fails to consider the harsh consequences when amateurs play with fireworks. In the wrong hands, fireworks can lead to property damage, personal injury – even death. “In San Diego County, fireworks are not only dangerous but also illegal,” said James Floros, Burn Institute Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer. Floros points to the thousands, nationwide, who are injured each year from fireworks -- particularly children.
Nationwide, 9,600 people were treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries in 2006--and eleven people died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One out of every three injured were children younger than 15 years, with three times as many males as females injured. Those directly participating in fireworks-related activities were “more frequently and severely injured than bystanders.”
ALL fireworks in San Diego County are illegal. No exceptions! This includes everything from poppers and sparklers to firecrackers and bottle rockets. If you are caught with fireworks, you can be fined; if you’re an adult providing fireworks to minors, the penalty can be much more severe.
Bottle rockets may seem harmless, but did you know that they generate enough heat to set a roof on fire? One bottle rocket can set off a devastating fire that can potentially destroy homes, perhaps entire neighborhoods – at the worst, take a life.
Sparklers, though festive, are responsible for most injuries to children younger than 10 years of age and account for one-third of the injuries to those five years and younger. Children, often fascinated by the bright sparks, may grab the hot end of the sparkler where the temperature can reach 1,800 degrees. It only takes a moment for a sparkler to ignite a child’s clothing causing a devastating burn injury – possibly death.
Public fireworks displays conducted by trained professionals are the smartest and safest way to enjoy fireworks because they are conducted in a controlled setting according to established regulations. As a public service to the community, the Burn Institute has compiled a list of licensed fireworks shows throughout San Diego County. The list is also published online at www.burninstitute.org and at East County Magazine: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/?q=node/1556.