CORAL SPRINGS (CBSMiami) – Hoping not to have a repeat of last year when fireworks sparked four brush fires and injured one person, Coral Springs police plan to be out in force this year to help ensure that city residents are celebrating the Fourth of July safely.
In addition to road patrol officers, officers from specialized units will be patrolling the neighborhoods on July 4th confiscating illegal fireworks.
“A lot of fireworks that are illegal are the ones that fly in the air so they are easy for officers to spot where they are coming from,” said police spokesman Lt. Joe McHugh. “In addition, we’re going to respond to calls from citizens of illegal fireworks being ignited.”
Illegal fireworks are any fireworks that explode or fly in the air. Anyone caught possessing illegal fireworks will have them confiscated on the first offense and cited on the second offense.
Coral Springs residents who want to leave it to the pros can watch the city’s fireworks display on July 4th at Mullins Park, located at 10000 NW 29 Street starting at 9:00 p.m.
Detective Stephen Copp with the Broward Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad said illegal fireworks pose a significant risk to those who use them.
“A lot of illegal ones are made with a short fuse. If you light it, it can go off and kill you.”
Some fireworks, like the M100 firecracker which marketed under different names, have the explosive force of a quarter stick of dynamite when they explode. In 2009, a Cooper City man was killed when he was hit by one.
Even sparklers for the kids can be dangerous because they can reach up to 1,200 degrees and can cause up to third degree burns.
Anyone who plans to set off legal fireworks is urged to take some common sense safety precautions:
- Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass
- Always have a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby
- Don’t wear loose clothing while using fireworks
- If clothes catch fire, remember to STOP, DROP onto the ground, cover your face and ROLL over and over until the fire goes out
- Fireworks should never be held or thrown
- Remain a safe distance away from lit fireworks
- If a firework fails to go off, do not stand over it
- Children should be supervised around fireworks at all times
In 2010, nearly 8,600 people were injured by fireworks.
Far more U.S. fires are reported on July 4th than on any other day, and fireworks account for more than half of those fires, more than any other cause of fires, according to a report released by the National Fire Protection Association.
Additionally, the risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 10-14, with more than twice the risk for the general population, the association said.