With 4th of July right around the corner, this sparks safety concerns for many throughout the community. And the Kern County Fire Department has already seized over 1,500lbs of illegal fireworks this year.
Andrew Freeborn with the KCFD tells 23ABC that they’ve seen almost a 10,000% increase in illegal fireworks this year, compared to previous years. He says that there are thousands of fires and injuries nationwide as a direct result of fireworks.
Andrew Freeborn with the Kern County Fire Department says if you do choose to light off fireworks it should be done by an adult, and clear from any other individual in order to avoid burn injuries. He also adds that it is important to find a safe area to light the fireworks outside, but not where anything else can catch on fire.
“So you certainly wouldn’t want to do that around dry grass, under parked cars, nothing like that. You want to keep it out in the open in the driveway.”
Freeborn also says to have water or a hose on standby, “and that way if a fire does start, it can quickly be extinguished.” While that bucket of water is there as a safety precaution to put a fire out, Freeborn says it can also be used as a prevention tactic. Freeborn says that often fireworks will look like they are out, or no longer feel hot, so people will throw them in the trash. He says, “and now the trash can catches on fire the trash cans are usually on the side of someone’s home. So now that fire that quickly grows is able to get up into the home.”
And as far as where these fireworks can be let off, each community has its own ordinances. Freeborn says all the information for this is on the You Light It, We Write It website.
However, the same laws over in the mountain communities do not apply. Freeborn says, “we do not want to see a wildfire caused by fireworks. So they are illegal in those areas.“
A reminder, do not call 911 to report illegal fireworks. They need to be reported on the Kern County Fire Department website.