SAN DIEGO — First responders are sending out an important message to San Diegans just days before the Fourth of July.
On Thursday, San Diego Firefighters held a safety demonstration about fireworks and the danger they represent. The firefighters stressed that there are no legal fireworks in both the City of San Diego as well as the county. That ban on fireworks includes sparklers. The San Diego Bomb Fire Squad says that when lit, sparklers burn at 900 degrees and the number of children injured by them is alarming.
Mark Alvarez from the San Diego Bomb Fire Squad says that injuries from fireworks are increasing year after year and that most emergency room visits are for children ages 10-14. He also told CBS 8 about an amnesty program the City of San Diego has implemented, “We have an amnesty program where anyone can turn in any fireworks to any fire station here in the City of San Diego, no questions asked."
In 2006 across the United States, about 9,200 firework injuries were reported in the U.S. By 2021, there were 11,500. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission cautions that those numbers are likely low because of improper reporting.
The National Fire Protection Association says fireworks started more than 19,500 fires across the United States in 2018.
As an alternative to traditional fireworks, more California cities are opting for drone fireworks shows, including Imperial Beach, which will have its drone light show at the Imperial Beach Pier starting at 9 p.m.
In addition to potential injuries, firefighters stressed the possibility of fireworks starting wildfires. With San Diego’s dry conditions and the amount of canyons and brush, shooting off fireworks could be deadly.
Alvarez says that firefighters are already overwhelmed by other calls so reducing injuries and fires this weekend will help them a lot. He is asking people especially at the beaches, where fireworks are set off regularly, to plan your weekend around firework shows put on commercially and not light them off yourself.
WATCH RELATED: San Diego sheriffs warn against handling fireworks ahead of Fourth of July weekend (July 2021)