What to know about fireworks

YUMA, Ariz. – This Fourth of July, crowds will watch public fireworks displays planned throughout the Desert Southwest. Other people may set off their own, but Arizona law bans most forms of fireworks.

“Any firework that leaves the ground or explodes is still illegal,” Yuma Fire’s Mike Erfert said.

That means no firecrackers or Roman candles. More fires break out on July fourth than any other day of the year, according to Mike Erfurt with Yuma Fire.

“We’ve had people, because of where they used them, start brush fires. We’ve even had fireworks used inside houses that have started house fires,” he said.

Accidents such as those could land you with hefty fines and legal trouble.

“You are legally and civilly responsible for the damage, and in addition, you are legally responsible for the emergency response dealing with that fire that the firework started,” Erfert explained.

Items such as poppers, toy smoke devices and sparklers are allowed. Even those options can be dangerous. Thousands of Americans end their Independence Day in the hospital with burns from fireworks.

“Think about even the sparkler, a very innocent type of firework, but that burns at 1000 to 1200 degrees, leaving a child with a red hot piece of metal, like a branding iron,” he said.

Fireworks that explode or leave the ground are also illegal in Imperial County.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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