Placerville, CA — Independence Day is one of the busiest days of the year for firefighters. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more fires are reported on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year, and two out of five are fireworks-related incidents. Over 90 percent of these fires occur outside; posing a significant chance of causing wildfires.
The El Dorado County Fire Protection District advises that the best way to enjoy fireworks and prevent injury is to watch a professional show. “Consumer fireworks are dangerous and the risks to personal safety and the safety of the community are significant,” says Fire Captain Jacob Poganski.
According to the 2021 Fireworks Annual Report released today by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), fireworks were involved with an estimated 11,500 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2020. Celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks, cookouts and community events can quickly turn to disaster if proper precautions are not taken.
Children are especially at risk on July 4th. Of those injured, 29 percent of victims with fireworks injuries were under 15. Children should never play with fireworks; even sparklers can reach 2,000˚ Fahrenheit and pose a hazard. Sparklers account for over 1,100 emergency department-treated injuries in the U.S. and are the leading type of firework device involved in all injuries. Sparklers account for over half of all fireworks related injuries to children under the age of 5.
“Fireworks are illegal in El Dorado County. It’s best to leave the fireworks to the professionals at public displays where extensive safety measures are taken,” Fire Captain Poganski said. “There were no injuries identified due to public firework displays during 2021. While exciting, fireworks can be very, very dangerous and pose an increased chance of causing home fires or wildfires.”
Please only call 9-1-1 for potentially life-threatening situations so firefighters are available to respond quickly when lives are in danger.
“If you are reporting a noise complaint to law enforcement, there is another number to call for that,” said Fire Captain Poganski. Dial (530) 621-6600 in the unincorporated county or (530) 642-5298 in the City of Placerville for all non–life-threatening situations.
For more information about fireworks safety, visit nfpa.org/fireworks.