A few things to know about fireworks for the upcoming holiday.
You’ve probably seen firework sales tents popping up around the Valley ahead of Independence Day.
Now, the Phoenix Fire Department wants you to see what can happen with those fireworks if you’re not careful.
Fire officials on Wednesday morning demonstrated the dangers of both permissible and illegal fireworks at the department’s training facility in Phoenix. One demonstration utilized a watermelon as an example of human flesh.
Move over, Gallagher
“This is your brain on illegal fireworks,” said Phoenix Fire Department Inspector Brian Scholl, after a watermelon burst into pieces when a skyrocket was lit nearby.
A skyrocket firework, which is illegal in Arizona, looks like an “oversized and explosively packed birthday cake candle,” Scholl said.
“If it launches into the air or explodes, it’s illegal,” he said, adding that fire departments across the Valley have been checking with fireworks vendors to make sure they are not selling restricted items.
State law regulates the types of fireworks that can be sold and when in Arizona, in addition to when they can be used.
Fireworks sold between May 20 and July 6 can be used June 24 through July 6. Items sold between Dec. 10 and Jan. 3 can be used Dec. 24 through Jan. 3.
Ground-based fireworks, such as sparkling devices, cylindrical fountains, cone fountains, torches, spinners, filter sparklers, and wire sparklers, are permissible during eligible dates.
CHECK THE CHART: What is legal to use in Phoenix, and when?
“Firecrackers, sky rockets, aerial spinners, roman candles or even bottle rockets are examples of fireworks most dangerous unless used by trained professionals and considered illegal to individually use here in Arizona,” Scholl said.
The state does not regulate the sale and use of novelty items, such as smoke balls, sparklers, snakes, party poppers and snap caps, Scholl said.
Sparklers lead to 31% of all fireworks injuries
Scholl said firework burns accounted for more than half the burn injuries fielded by the Phoenix Fire Department last year.
“We see a lot of hand and finger burns,” Scholl said. “Those account for roughly 46 percent of the total fireworks burn injuries.”
Of the other firework-related burn injuries,17 percent are eye burns and 17 percent are burns to the head, ears or face. Less likely are burns to the legs, arms or midsection, he said.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 240 people will go to an emergency room a day, due to fireworks related injuries the month around 4th of July holiday.
Of the injuries reported, only 2 percent come from fireworks spectators watching public displays. Sparklers make up 31 percent of all fireworks injuries.
“Bottom line: You can always check with your local fire house with questions about fireworks you intend to use,” Scholl said.
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