Fireworks Safety Tips from a Firefighter

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"Safe & Sane" = legal fireworks
"Safe & Sane" = legal fireworks

The 4th of July is this week, and for many Americans that means – fireworks.

Talia Flores, Community Risk Reduction Specialist at Humboldt Bay Fire Department explains, “4th of July is obviously a great time to get out, enjoy the sunshine with your family, let off those same fireworks that you see in all the booths popping around the city. All of the safe, and sane fireworks that you purchase should have the state fire marshal’s seal on them, which means that they’re legal in the state of California.

Those legal fireworks are called “safe and sane.”

“When it comes to launching off fireworks, we always recommend the safe and sane,” she continues. “Those still go pretty big and there’s still a lot of excitement, like fun. Anything other than is considered only an illegal firework and those can go up. You know, 100 feet into the air and those sparks anywhere near dry brush can start a wildfire.”

Fireworks season also coincides with fire season here in Northern California

Every year on 4th of July, there are approximately 19,000 fires started by fireworks in the United States.

“Those big, exciting fireworks you don’t want to be doing those in your home,” says Flores, “you don’t want to be doing those out on the beach.  There’s a lot of dry brush out. 

CALFIRE reports around 300 wildfires each year due to fireworks are reported in the days surrounding fourth of July. Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity, and Siskiyou counties are all under burn bans– but firefighters say you can still enjoy fireworks – safely.

“A couple of really good safety tips for fireworks. Always have a bucket of water on hand. So that way, after you’ve lit your fireworks and they’re completely out, throw them in that bucket. Leave them there for up to 24 or 48 hours if you want, before actually disposing of them into your garbage just to avoid any kind of rekindling.

It’s never a good idea to relight a dud firework. If it’s a dud, do not relight it. Just throw it in that bucket of water and light a new one.  don’t light a bunch at once because that can kind of get out of hand. You’re lighting that last one. That first one might be going off. Be smart, be safe and make sure you dispose of the fireworks properly.”

And if you do want to see big fireworks, it’s best to go to a professional fireworks show offered by our local cities. Best of all, they’re free.