Community, Fire Department, Police Department, Public Safety

The dangers of fireworks

Remember ALL fireworks including the safe & sane varieties are prohibited in Hayward and the Fairview Fire Protection District

Brianne Elizarrey | June 23, 2017

With the 4th of July rapidly approaching the City of Hayward officials are busy reminding residents that ALL fireworks, even the safe and sane variety, are banned in Hayward and Fairview. Why? Fireworks can be dangerous, and severe injuries can be caused from fireworks.

An estimated 9,800 people – an average of more than 26 people every day– were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained from fireworks, and more than half of those injured were children.  More than two of every three fireworks-related injuries occur between June 22 and July 22.

During that time period: 

  • More than 4 of every 10 people injured were children under 15 years of age. 

  • People under twenty sustained more than half (54%) of all injuries from fireworks. 

  • People actively participating in fireworks–related activities are more frequently and severely injured than bystanders.

  • Most injuries result from being too close to fireworks when they explode.

Availability:

In spite of federal regulations and varying state and local prohibitions, many types of fireworks are still accessible to the public. Distributors often sell fireworks near state borders, where laws prohibiting sales on either side of the border may differ.  

Any firecracker with more than 50 milligrams of explosive powder and any aerial firework with more than 130 milligrams of flash powder are banned under federal law, as are mail order kits and components designed to build these fireworks.
However, 92% of the fireworks injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms involved fireworks that Federal regulations permit consumers to use.

Fireworks type:

Among the various types of fireworks, some of which are sold legally in some states, bottle rockets can fly into peoples' faces and cause eye injuries or start roof fires; sparklers can ignite clothing. Sparklers burn at more than 1,200°F this is hot enough to cause third degree burns; and firecrackers can injure the hands or face if they explode at close range.

Damage associated with fireworks:
  • 30,100-Estimated number of fires caused by fireworks each year.

  • These fires resulted in $34 million in direct property damage.

  • Younger children often lack the physical coordination to handle fireworks safely. 

  • There were 1,100 injuries associated with sparklers, many never being reported.

  • Sparklers cause 200 injuries to children less than 5 years of age.

  • Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they'll run loose or get injured.

The safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries and to keep your family protected is to attend fireworks displays and leave the lighting to trained professionals. Don't allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.  

REMEMBER, ALL FIREWORKS ARE PROHIBITED (THIS INCLUDES ALL “SAFE AND SANE” FIREWORKS) WITHIN HAYWARD AND THE FAIRVIEW FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT.

For more information on Disaster Preparedness related materials please see our website at:  www.hayward-ca.gov/fire-department/disaster-preparedness or contact the Hayward Fire Department Emergency Services Office for additional information at 510.583.4948.

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For a list of events happening around the Bay Area visit: https://www.hayward-ca.gov/discover/news/jun17/all-fireworks-are-banned-city-hayward