El Paso fire officials share Fourth of July safety reminders


(Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The El Paso Fire Department is reminding the public ahead of Independence Day that the use of fireworks within the City of El Paso is illegal and extremely dangerous.

Fire officials said the use of fireworks within city limits is a Class C misdemeanor with fines up to $500.

Firework injuries are one of the leading causes of medical emergencies during Fourth of July celebrations, and children are most often the ones injured.

Some common injuries or accidents when using pyrotechnic material include:

• Severe burns to the skin
• Eye injuries
• Hearing loss
• Wildland fires
• Structure fires.

Fire officials warned that any pyrotechnic material can be the culprit to these common injuries or accidents, even sparklers which can reach temperatures of up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.

The El Paso Fire Department recommends the following safety tips to keep your holiday weekend as safe as possible:

• Dial 9-1-1 if in need of emergency assistance.
• Never hold fireworks in your hand, do not throw or point them at anyone, always keep a bucket of water close in case of spot fires, and be mindful of any nearby trees, brush or houses.
• Instead of using fireworks consider attending a public fireworks display.
• If attending a public display, children must be supervised at all times. Do not pick up any firework debris as they could still be hot and cause burn injuries.
• Be careful with all fire activities (cooking, grilling, etc.). Keep any fire sources such as grills at least 7 feet away from your home, roofs, trees, etc.
• Establish a pet-free and children-free safe zone of at least 3 feet from any stoves, ovens or grills.
• After you are done using your grill, make sure you completely extinguish any of the following items used for cooking charcoal, wood, or pellets.
• During the 4th of July celebrations, many frightened pets escape their homes. Make sure you bring pets indoors during fireworks periods and reinforce yard fencing and gates.  Make sure pets have a collar with ID tags, are microchipped and that the information is up to date. If your pet is not microchipped, visit elpasoanimalservices.org to find microchipping event dates.
• If you live outside the city limits, check any applicable bans before using fireworks.
For more information about the Fire Department, residents are encouraged to visit elpasofire.org and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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