EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The El Paso Fire Department recommends you go to a public fireworks shows instead of popping your own because it’s safer.
Fireworks are banned in the City of El Paso but if you decide to celebrate Fourth of July outside of the city and pop your own fireworks, you need to be cautious.
“Every year we see burn injuries. We see people lose their fingers. We see some people getting blinded because some people sometimes sparks get into their eyes or somebody shoots something at them so people can get blinded,” said El Paso Fire Public Information Officer Enrique Duenas-Aguilar.
The number of firework-related injuries and deaths spiked during the pandemic nationwide, according to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
It says at least 18 people died from firework-related incidents in 2020 compared to 12 reported in 2019.
More than 15,000 people were treated in the emergency rooms for injuries last year, an increase from the estimated 10,000 injuries in the previous year. Most injured body parts were the hands and fingers followed by the head, face and ears.
“I would advise no child should handle any fireworks as fun as it is. Even like the sparklers can cause burning so you have to be very careful with those. Anything that blows up, I wouldn’t put it anywhere near any kids,” said Jonathan Gutierrez, an Emergency Medicine Physician with The Hospitals of Providence
Some tips to keep in mind according to the Las Cruces Fire Department:
• Keep in mind the hour of usage and be considerate of your neighbors.
• Limit use of fireworks to the outdoors, away from combustibles and to paved or barren land.
• Children should never use fireworks without close adult supervision.
• Light only one pyrotechnic at a time and move a safe distance away while it ignites.
• Purchase fireworks only from a licensed vendor within the municipality they will be used.
• Follow all label directions carefully and use common sense.
• Have a reliable water source, such as a garden hose, available while discharging fireworks.
• Soak used fireworks in a bucket or tub of water, and safely dispose of all spent casings and debris.
• Pet owners should secure their dogs and cats indoors when fireworks are discharged.