The volume of illegal fireworks getting used in my neighborhood suggests Independence Day is almost here.

Any fireworks that leave the ground or explode are illegal for private use under Colorado state law. Other states have different laws as do counties, cities and homeowners associations. Sparklers are usually legal, but they are not “safe” as the attached image indicates.

Too many people are injured while using fireworks each year. Causes of injuries include ignoring the manufacturer’s instructions or safety warnings or letting children use devices without supervision. Here are some safety tips from our colleagues at ReadyColorado:

–  Stand several feet away from lit fireworks.
–  If a device does not function properly, do not stand over it to investigate. Do not pick it up until it has been doused with water.
–  Extinguish used and malfunctioning devices with water and dispose of it safely. (Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby.)
–  If an adult or child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, cover both eyes and prevent the patient from rubbing the injured eye.

Nationwide, males receive 61% of injuries, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission. Additionally, Children younger than 15 account for a quarter of injuries and people under the age of 20 account for over 40% of fireworks injuries treated in emergency departments. All of those injuries are preventable.

We at South Metro Fire Rescue agree that America Rocks, but we also believe it’s preferable to #CelebrateSafely to honor our nation’s past, present and future.  Please be careful this summer and leave the fireworks displays to the professionals.  

To report illegal fireworks, check the website for your local police department or call the agency’s non-emergency number.  They will tell you how to report such incidents. It’s best if you can provide police with an address.