Fireworks: leave it to the professionals

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Updated: 7/02/2014 11:49 pm
RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- It is one of the most patriotic days on the calendar, but this year, it is coming with a very strong warning.

"It’s really important that we let the fireworks be done by the professionals," said Truckee Meadows Fire Marshal Amy Ray. "Fireworks are not only dangerous, but they burn at very high temperatures, so we see a lot of people who are burned by fireworks during this time of year and we really want to prevent that from happening."

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that in 2013, eight people died in a fireworks-related accident and more than 11,000 others were injured. Fireworks do not only cause personal injury; they can also quickly destroy property especially in times of drought.

A fire in Sparks on Tuesday caused by a lightning strike ignited nearly a quarter-acre of brush and dry trees in seconds. "We've got extremely dry conditions right now, we've got a lot of wind, we've got low relative humidity, it's very high temperatures so it's very volatile conditions should a fire start so we'd really like people not to play with fireworks," said Ray.

Ray said if you do see anything that looks suspicious, report it immediately so that the authorities can do their job. "If you see someone playing with fireworks, it’s very important that you call 911 to report that incident. Only then are we able to respond to it and so are the appropriate law enforcement agencies, so we can help you out."

If you do decide to ignore the law and light fireworks, be prepared the face the consequences. "Because they are illegal," said Ray, "It's a misdemeanor offense, which is up to $1,000 fine and some jail time, but we will also bill for suppression resources, if there is a fire that started as a result of that."

If you do own fireworks and wish to dispose of them, you can take them to any local fire station and they will gladly take them off your hands, no questions asked.
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