Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Virtually every police agency in California has banned the use, sale and transportation of illegal fireworks including the City of Santa Ana. Yet every 4th of July illegal fireworks explode all over Southern California – particularly in Santa Ana.

Blowing up illegal fireworks is not a patriotic endeavor. It is an act of anarchy. It is criminal and it endangers not only the persons using the illegal fireworks but also poses a fire risk to the community and the noise freaks out pets – who often end up running away.

A new report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) finds a significant upward trend in fireworks-related injuries. Between 2006 and 2021, injuries with fireworks climbed 25% in the U.S., according to CPSC estimates.

The Deadly Consequences of Illegal Fireworks

Last year, at least nine people died, and an estimated 11,500 were injured in incidents involving fireworks.

CPSC’s report shows:

  • Of the nine U.S. deaths, six were associated with firework misuse, one death was associated with a mortar launch malfunction, and two incidents were associated with unknown circumstances.
  • There were an estimated 11,500 emergency room-treated injuries involving fireworks in 2021—down from the spike (15,600) experienced in 2020, during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many public displays were cancelled.
  • An estimated 8,500 fireworks-related injuries (or 74 percent of the total estimated fireworks-related injuries in 2021) occurred during the 1-month special study period between June 18 and July 18 last year.
  • Young adults 20 to 24 years of age had the highest estimated rate of emergency department-treated, fireworks-related injuries in 2021.
  • In 2021, there were an estimated 1,500 emergency department-treated injuries associated with firecrackers and 1,100 involving sparklers.
  • In 2021, the parts of the body most often injured by fireworks were hands and fingers (an estimated 31 percent of injuries) along with head, face, and ears (an estimated 21 percent).
  • About 32 percent of the emergency department-treated fireworks-related injuries in 2021 were for burns.
  • In 2021, approximately 31 percent of selected and tested fireworks products were found to contain noncompliant components, including fuse violations, the presence of prohibited chemicals and pyrotechnic materials overload.

Fireworks also started an estimated 12,264 fires in 2021, including 2,082 structure fires, 316 vehicle fires, and 9,866 outside and other fires. These fires caused 29 civilian injuries and $59 million in direct property damage. (Source: NFPA).

Safe Alternatives for Celebrating the 4th of July

  • The City of Santa Ana is hosting their annual Fourth of July celebration at Centennial Park on Tuesday, July 4, 2023 from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. This free community event will include live music, kid’s activities, food trucks, and exhibitors and a spectacular 20-minute fireworks finale at 9 p.m. Guests are encouraged to arrive early and bring a lawn chair, blanket and picnics. Dogs may attend but must remain on leashes. Alcohol is not allowed. Centennial Park is located at 3000 W Edinger Avenue in Santa Ana. On-site event parking is free.
  • You can still buy safe and sane fireworks in Santa Ana. TNT offers an online directory of the local fireworks stands here.
  • You can have a 4th of July Party at your house! Great time to BBQ or bring in a taquero. Make some patriotic red, white and blue cupcakes!
  • Watch a patriotic movie on Netflix!
  • Register to vote.
  • Write a letter to your Congressman.

Tips to Celebrate Safely

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move quickly away from the fireworks device.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never point or throw fireworks (including sparklers) at anyone.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, to prevent a trash fire, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area, and only purchase and set off fireworks that are labeled for consumer (not professional) use.
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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