IMPERIAL VALLEY - Local firefighters are urging residents to exercise extreme safety if you plan to set-off fireworks to ring in the New Year!
It is a scene all too common; thousands of people who set off fireworks, who get hurt by the explosion or by the fire.
Imperial Valley firefighter Kevin Lewis says that emergency crews respond to thousands of these same calls every year.
The majority of those injured are children.
"A lot of the burns were actually from patients 5 and under just from the simple sparkler that you can buy at the grocery store", says Calexico Firefighter, Kevin Lewis.
So how can you keep your child from becoming a statistic?
Lewis says there's one simple rule you can follow that could help prevent your child from getting injured; do not let your guard down and keep your eye on them at all times.
"One thing we wanna do is have a supervised lighter, if you are using fireworks. Keep your loved ones safe, the family safe, have one person lighting and one at a time and keep everyone back as far as possible. Things like eye protection and a jacket are really recommended".
While fireworks are legal in California, it is illegal to bring them over from Mexico.
"We do not want them using fireworks that are not approved in the state of California. They are supposed to have a state logo on them, they are not allowed to explode, and they are not allowed to go in the air".
Overall, while setting off fireworks may seem harmless, Lewis says all it takes is one wrong move to ruin your holiday.
"We're not gonna recommend not using fireworks in general. If they're doing it safe, they're following the recommendations, if someone's sober lighting it, adult supervision, and they follow everything, the number of injuries are decreasing".
Again, local firefighters want you to have fun, enjoy time with your family, but most important, be extra careful and be extra safe when celebrating the New Year.
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