Firing off fireworks? Follow these tips to stay safe

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July 4th is only a few short weeks away and on June 28, 2010, the sale of Safe and Sane Fireworks will begin in Rocklin. Fireworks have been a part of many of our families’ Independence Day celebrations in the city of Rocklin throughout the years. Let’s make sure our community is safe during this holiday season. Discharge of Safe and Sane Fireworks is allowed only from noon on June 28 through 11:59 p.m. on July 4. Before or after this timeframe, even “Safe and Sane Fireworks” are illegal to be discharged. Only Safe and Sane Fireworks are legal in California and may be sold within the city limits. The city of Rocklin has a “No Tolerance Policy” for illegal fireworks and fireworks discharged outside of the prescribed time frames. Fines will be issued ($500-$1000 per citation) and all fireworks will be confiscated as evidence for prosecution under the state law, according to Rocklin Fire Chief Bill Mikesell. Although legal consumer fireworks can be relatively safe, remember that fireworks are not toys. They are classified as “hazardous substances” under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. Fireworks can cause serious burn and eye injuries, as well as start fires. Use the following precautions when celebrating this Independence Day: § Make sure that your fireworks are legal. § Only buy fireworks from reliable sources that are licensed by the state fire marshal. § Do not use alcohol while lighting or handling fireworks. § Use common sense and read all label instructions. § Keep unused fireworks away from live fireworks firing areas. § Never set off fireworks in or near a field or in an area of dry grass. § Store fireworks in a dry, cool place and check instructions for special storage directions. § Older children should be closely supervised, and younger children should not be allowed to use fireworks. Even “safe” fireworks like sparklers burn at very high temperatures and can easily ignite clothing. Do not allow any running or horseplay. § Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from anything flammable, including houses, vehicles and shrubbery. § Make sure water is on hand to douse any sparks or fireworks that do not properly ignite. Place all used fireworks in a bucket filled with water, and make sure they are thoroughly soaked before disposing of them. § Never point or throw fireworks at anyone. § Never explode fireworks inside a container. § Never relight fireworks that have gone out or malfunctioned. § Light one firework at a time, and use protective eyewear. § Do not have any portion of your body over a firework you are lighting. § Be very cautious of lighting fireworks during windy conditions. Fireworks can be deadly. Never make your own devices and do not use any kits that are advertised for making fireworks. Leave mixing and loading powders to the experts. Don’t purchase illegal explosives, and if you are aware of anyone selling such devices, contact the Rocklin Police Department. Approximately 9,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year for injuries associated with fireworks. Half of the victims were under 15 years of age. Don’t turn a joyful celebration into a painful memory. Discuss firework safety with your family before the first firework is lit, and then enjoy the festivities. In Rocklin, illegal fireworks may be turned in at the fire station located at 4060 Rocklin Road. If you have any questions about fireworks, legal or illegal, please call the Rocklin Fire Department at 625-5300. ~Staff report