The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District is encouraging residents to attend one of the spectacular public fireworks displays staged by professionals and reminds residents that the individual possession or use of fireworks is illegal in Contra Costa County.
"The National Fire Protection Association reports that eight out of nine of firework-related injuries are a result of fireworks legally sold," said Fire Marshal Christina Kiefer.
"The national statistics for fires and injuries are discouraging and completely preventable. The Fire District has had a longstanding position against the use of consumer fireworks, and I encourage more communities to do the same."
The NFPA also reports that 9,600 firework-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms in 2011 and a quarter of the victims were children under 15 years of age. Over half the injuries were burns and an estimated one-third were injuries associated with sparklers, fountains and other novelties.
In addition to injuries, fires that start from fireworks are a significant threat to the community, Kiefer said, noting that the San Ramon Valley has a lot of dry brush and grass. Residents should be aware that fireworks can easily ignite vegetation and quickly start a structure on fire.
She also reminded residents that a person who starts a fire from fireworks, even if it is done accidentally, can be held liable for the firefighting costs and damages to the property.
Enforcement personnel will be patrolling and responding to calls for illegal use and possession of fireworks. All fireworks found will be confiscated and anyone in possession or engaged in the use of fireworks could be fined up to $1,000.
Fire District personnel will accept illegal fireworks that are voluntarily turned over at all fire stations. To report the sale and use of illegal fireworks, contact the Fire District at 838-6600.
The 4th of July is a wonderful American tradition, and San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District officials said they encourage residents to celebrate safely and without the use of fireworks.