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News Release

Illegal Fireworks Dangers Escalate with High Temperatures

July 01, 2013



Henderson, Nev. – With temperatures reaching record highs, Henderson Police and Fire want to remind everyone that fireworks that explode or shoot up into the air are not just dangerous and illegal, but an extreme fire hazard.

Fireworks are always hazardous and best left to the professionals. The city of Henderson is presenting a fireworks display as part of a Fourth of July celebration at Mission Hills Park. The fireworks show starts at 9 p.m. on the Fourth of July.

Last year an ordinance was passed in Henderson making the sale, possession of, or use of dangerous fireworks illegal in the city. Dangerous fireworks are defined as any firework that explodes or shoots up into the air. The “safe and sane” fireworks, which went on sale at various booths throughout the area last week and remain on sale until July 4, remain legal.

“Our goal with the new ordinance isn’t to hand out tickets, but to help ensure that everyone has a fun and safe Fourth of July,” Police Chief Patrick Moers said.

Fireworks, even the “safe and sane” legal fireworks, can be dangerous if not handled properly. In 2012, an estimated 8,700 people went to emergency rooms across the country for fireworks related injuries. The vast majority – 65 percent – of the injuries occurred between June 22 and July 22, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Children younger than 15 years old accounted for about 30 percent of the fireworks-related injuries in 2011

“A Fourth of July celebration can quickly turn into tragedy with careless use of fireworks,” Henderson Fire Chief Steve Goble said. “With all the hot dry weather we have, a spark can quickly turn into a fire.”

The illegal fireworks shot off in neighborhoods spark a high number of calls for service. Last July 3, 4, and 5 there were 256 disturbance calls into Henderson Police dispatch compared with just 21 disturbance calls in a three-day span the week before and just 30 calls during the three-day span the week after Fourth of July.

Anyone caught with illegal fireworks – such as bottle rockets, roman candles or fire crackers – will have them confiscated. Police can issue a citation or arrest the person for violating the fireworks ordinance, which is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and $1,000 fine.

Residents are urged to exercise caution, even with the “safe and sane” fireworks.

  • Always read the directions and use common sense.
  • Have an adult present.
  • Use outdoors only - away from buildings, vehicles, dry grass and other flammable objects.
  • Light one at a time, then move quickly away.
  • Keep others at a safe distance.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Never alter or take apart the fireworks.
  • Do not give to young children under any circumstances.
  • Never attempt to relight or fix malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Have a bucket of water handy for emergencies and for dousing misfired and spent fireworks.
  • Place all discharged fireworks in a bucket of water overnight to ensure they do not re-ignite.
  • If a fire does break, don’t panic. Use a hose or a bucket of water to keep from spreading. If the fire becomes large or spreads, call 9-1-1.

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