4th of July fireworks: Leave it to the pros

Digital Now

COLORADO SPRINGS — The 4th of July will look a little bit different this year, as large gatherings continue to be on hold in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Colorado Springs Fire Department wants people to leave fireworks displays to the professionals.

“This year they’re going to be all around the city with the concept of fireworks from your porch. And so, hopefully from your own home, you should be able to see a fireworks show in town,” said Kris Cooper, Deputy Fire Marshal with CSFD.

According to CSFD, both Colorado Springs and El Paso County are under a fire ban, making it illegal to own and use fireworks.

“We’ve had a little bit of rain over the past week, but it has not been enough to really low the fire danger. If you look around town, all the native grasses are starting to dry out, some of the trees are struggling, which means that those have very low fuel moisture. And so, they are ripe for ignition. It doesn’t take much for an accident to take place,” Cooper said.

The restrictions apply to anything with a fuse that needs to be lit. This includes bottle rockets, firecrackers of any type, mortars, roman candles, fountains, ground spinners, smoke bombs, and sparklers.

According to Children’s Hospital Colorado, nearly 3,000 kids are hurt by fireworks every year, with injuries to the eyes and hands being most common.

56-percent of injuries are from sparklers in children under five.

“Sparklers actually cause a lot of the injuries from fireworks in children. Children have shorter arms, they can’t really hold it out far from their bodies, and then they’re running around, and they can trip and fall or maybe hit another child with it and cause severe burns,” said Amanda Abramczyk-Thill, Injury Prevention Coordinator, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs.

“People have grown up with sparklers and think that’s a staple in the Fourth of July and that they’re safe. However, sparklers do burn at over 1,200 degrees and most ordinary combustibles being vegetation, wood, have an ignition temperature of three to 400 degrees. So, it doesn’t take a lot to ignite those things. And when we’re in dry conditions that we are now, starting a fire with sparklers can be done very easily,” Cooper said.

According To CSFD, recent hot, dry, and windy conditions have increased our fire danger, which can help fuel fires.

CSFD says anyone caught with or using fireworks in city limits may be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to $2,500 in fines and 189 days jail.

Violaters in El Paso County may be fined up to $750 and face six months in jail.

If you hear or witness the use of fireworks, call 719-444-7000.

Only call 911 in the event of an injury or fire; please reserve calling 911 for emergencies.

Click here to look at the burn restriction guide.

Click here for a list of firework displays in southern Colorado.

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