Fourth of July is the least favorite holiday of the year for firefighters.
That’s because people with no regard for the safety of themselves and their neighbors set off illegal fireworks that burn homes, spark grassfires, and put people in the hospital — or six feet under.
That’s not hyperbole. Between 2006 and 2021, injuries from fireworks climbed 25% in the U.S., according to Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates. One-third of the injuries were burns. And, 61 people died between 2018 and 2021.
How to Enjoy Fireworks the Right Way
The responsible way to celebrate Independence Day is by viewing professionally staged community fireworks shows such as those coming up at Chukchansi Park, Lamonica Stadium in Clovis, Granite Park, and the Big Fresno Fair.
Another way to show your love for America is by only using certified “safe and sane” fireworks and following the safety tips below this story.
If you think it’s cool to shoot off bottle rockets and light firecrackers, you’re wrong. Before you strike that match, think instead of a child in a burn unit who was rushed to the trauma center after your bottle rocket struck a house or ignited a grass fire.
Every Available Fresno Firefighter Called Into Action in 2022
The challenge faced by firefighters is spelled out by the facts of what they faced on July 4, 2022.
A year ago, city firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire that damaged several Tower District homes, 41 grass fires, and 88 total fires. More than once during the night, every available firefighter and engine was involved in fire suppression.
In addition, Fresno police dispatchers received 309 fireworks-related calls from 4 p.m. on July 4 to 2 a.m. on July 5. In all, 90 citations for illegal fireworks were written.
Cal Fire Fresno was busy as well, responding to 41 fires started by fireworks causing $500,000 in damage. The department issued four citations, made one arrest, and confiscated 800 pounds of illegal fireworks.
Property Owners Face Citations
The Fresno Fire Department reminds residents:
- A property owner is responsible for all activities that take place on their property and may receive a citation in the mail as a result of illegal fireworks use by a tenant.
- The use of illegal fireworks, or even hosting an event where illegal fireworks are used, can result in a citation for $2,000, $3,000, or $5,000.
- Large amounts of illegal fireworks can result in felony criminal charges and arrest.
- Dedicated patrols, undercover buys, drones, and special details are cracking down on illegal fireworks possession and use.
Watch: Don’t Be a Fireworks Dummy
Tips for Proper Use of Safe and Sane Fireworks