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Firework safety urged for holiday celebration
Stanislaus Christian Fellowship Chi Alpha's Jeremy Anderson, Wendy Zaragoza, Favor Ndama and Jennifer Haley are all smiles while selling fireworks at their booth located on the corner of Monte Vista and Dels Lane Friday evening. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

Those individuals planning on adding some sparkle and pop to their Fourth of July festivities are being advised to make sure the fireworks being lit are legal in Turlock.

The only fireworks that are legal in Turlock are those approved by the State Fire Marshal, which carry the Safe and Sane logo. Piccolo Pete’s and/or Whistling Pete’s are illegal in Turlock, as are any fireworks that have been modified or altered. This includes fireworks which fly into the air or explode.

Anyone caught with illegal fireworks will have them confiscated and could be issued a citation. In previous years the use of illegal fireworks has resulted in 15 to 20 citations being issued over the holiday period.

According to the National Fire Protection Association fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.

In 2015, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 51 percent of those injuries were to the extremities and 41 percent were to the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for one-quarter (26 percent) of the estimated 2015 injuries.

The NFPA recommends people celebrate the Fourth of July by watching public firework shows, but for those that plan on setting off their own, the Turlock Fire Department advises to take the following precautions:

·         Fireworks should always be used with extreme caution and should only be handled by adults.

·          Before using any fireworks, read and follow all warnings and instructions printed on the label.

·         Fireworks are only to be lit outdoors, in a clear area away from structures (houses, buildings) and flammable materials (gasoline cans, lighter fluid, etc.)

·         Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for dousing fireworks that do not ignite.

·         Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.  Soak them with water and throw them away.

·         Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.

·         Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially glass or metal containers.

·         Store fireworks in a dry and cool place.  Check instructions for special storage directions.


·         Never point or throw fireworks at another person.