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June 26, 2012 > Fireworks banned in Hayward

Fireworks banned in Hayward

Submitted By Hayward Fire Department

Every year in the United States, we celebrate the Fourth of July with community parades, picnics, barbecues, and fireworks - the things of which happy memories are made. But sadly, Independence Day also includes tragic events resulting from fireworks use. The safest way to enjoy them is through public displays conducted by professional pyrotechnicians, hired by communities throughout the Bay Area.

All fireworks are banned in Hayward and the Fairview Fire Protection District. Why? Fireworks can be dangerous, and severe injuries can be caused from fireworks. An estimated 9,800 people - an average of more than 26 people every day - were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained from fireworks, and more than half of those injured were children.

More than two of every three fireworks-related injuries occur between June 22 and July 22. During that time period:
* More than 4 of every 10 people injured were children under15 years of age.
* People under twenty sustained more than half (54%) of all injuries from fireworks.
* People actively participating in fireworks-related activities are more frequently and severely injured than bystanders.
* Most injuries result from being too close to fireworks when they explode.

In spite of federal regulations and varying state and local prohibitions, many types of fireworks are still accessible to the public. Distributors often sell fireworks near state borders, where laws prohibiting sales on either side of the border may differ.

Any firecracker with more than 50 milligrams of explosive powder and any aerial firework with more than 130 milligrams of flash powder are banned under federal law, as are mail order kits and components designed to build these fireworks.

However, 92% of the fireworks injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms involved fireworks that Federal regulations permit consumers to use.

Among the various types of fireworks, some of which are sold legally in some states, bottle rockets can fly into peoples' faces and cause eye injuries or start roof fires; sparklers can ignite clothing. Sparklers burn at more than 1,200 degrees, this is hot enough to cause third degree burns; and firecrackers can injure the hands or face if they explode at close range.

Damage associated with fireworks:
* 30,100-Estimated number of fires caused by fireworks each year.
* These fires resulted in $34 million in direct property damage.
* Younger children often lack the physical coordination to handle fireworks safely.
* There were 1,100 injuries associated with sparklers, many never being reported.
* Sparklers cause 200 injuries to children less than 5 years of age.
* Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they'll run loose or get injured.

The safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries and to keep your family protected is to attend fireworks displays and leave the lighting to trained professionals. Don't allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.

Here is a list of Bay Area locations where you and your family can view public fireworks displays:
* Alameda County Fair Fairgrounds
* Berkeley Marina
* Concord - Dave Brubeck Park
* Livermore - Las Positas College
* Martinez - Waterfront Park
* Oakland - Jack London Square
* Pleasant Hill - College Park High
* Richmond - Craneway Pavilion
* San Francisco - Pier 39
* San Jose - Municipal Stadium
* San Pablo - El Portal Soccer Field

Remember, All Fireworks are prohibited (including all "Safe and Sane" fireworks) within Hayward and the Fairview Fire Protection District. If you see someone playing with fireworks, even if they are the "Safe and Sane" variety, call the Hayward Police Department at: (510) 293- 7000. If a fire develops, call 911 immediately!

For more information on Disaster Preparedness related materials please see our website at: www.hayward-ca.gov click on the red "Disaster Preparedness" button or contact the Hayward Fire Department Emergency Services Office for additional information at (510) 583-4948.

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