The Turlock Fire Department wants our citizens and community to have a happy and safe July 4th Holiday. We want to remind our citizens that only fireworks with the State of California Fire Marshal approval are legal to use in the City of Turlock. Fireworks that fly into the air or explode are considered illegal and are highly dangerous. The last few years, both the Fire and Police Departments have confiscated a number of illegal fireworks from our citizens. The trend of using illegal fireworks these past few years is definitely on the rise. We want to let our citizens know that both Departments will be on the lookout for illegal fireworks again this year. If a person is caught, they could receive a fine of $1000.00 dollars. The ongoing drought has contributed to dry trees and bushes that will burn very quickly if fireworks land in or around them. This causes great concern for the Fire Department, and can be easily avoided. Another concern for firefighters is injuries caused by both legal and illegal fireworks.
Our community has been fortunate that none of our citizens have had a serious injury from fireworks in the last few years but on a national level, we are reminded about the dangers of fireworks. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2012 Fireworks Annual Report, U.S. hospital emergency rooms saw an estimated 8,700 people for fireworks-related injuries in 2012. In the month around July 4th, almost three out of five (57 percent) of the fireworks injuries were burns, while almost one-fifth (18 percent) were contusions or lacerations. Sparklers, fountains and novelties alone accounted for one-quarter (25 percent) of the emergency room fireworks injuries.
Young people pay a particularly high price for fireworks. During the same July period, the risk of injury was highest among those ages 15-24, followed by children under 10. Three out of ten people (30 percent) injured by fireworks were under the age of 15. Males accounted for three-quarters (74 percent) of the injuries overall.
On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported U.S. fires, more than any other cause of fire. In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires resulting in 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage. The vast majority of injuries occur without a fire starting.
We encourage our community to celebrate our independence and enjoy the holiday. We hope that you will enjoy the fireworks show at Cal State University Stanislaus that will be run by trained pyrotechnic professionals. Most of all, we want our citizens and community to be safe.