Even 'safe and sane' fireworks can cause serious damage - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Even 'safe and sane' fireworks can cause serious damage

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Fireworks explode overhead in this undated file image. (File/FOX5) Fireworks explode overhead in this undated file image. (File/FOX5)

"Safe and sane" fireworks booths are scheduled to up Wednesday morning in Clark County. For those wanting to take bigger risks, all it takes is a drive over the hump to Pahrump to buy more explosive fireworks.

No matter what kind of fuse is lit, there's still plenty of potential to get hurt. The Las Vegas Fire Department held a press conference Wednesday to let people know they're committed to making sure people are safe no matter what kind of laws they may or may not have broken leading up to a fire or injury.

Tim Szymanski, who has been with the department for decades, said last year was one of the worst he's ever seen when it comes to kids getting burned. He warned that burns are some of the most painful injuries, yet parents often drive their children to the hospital instead of calling for help because they're afraid of getting in trouble.

Szymanski also said he's seen plenty of serious injuries no matter how the firework is labeled.

"There's a misconception, when we say 'safe and sane,' they think they're toys ... and they're not. They're fireworks, and they will cause fires. We've had people get seriously hurt by safe and sane fireworks and we've had significant fires," he said. "And when I talk serious, I'm talking about 80 to 90 percent third-degree burns."

Fireworks earn the "safe and sane" label after they've been tested in front of all the fire departments in southern Nevada and a committee votes on what's safe. Fireworks are deemed illegal if they explode, fly through the air or swirl uncontrollably on the ground.

"The ones that explode can cause injuries to people," Szymanski said. "You can lose your fingers. They can cause blindness."

People who buy fireworks in Nye County and then bring them to Clark County are in violation of the law. One of the fireworks sold in Pahrump, which seemingly makes fun of the ban, is called the "Popo Magnet."

"The Popo Magnet starts out a little slow. Then it gets in the middle, and then it just goes 'Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!' at the end!" Laurie Bodendorfer, a manager at Phantom Fireworks in Pahrump said. "You'd love it!"

Officers with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said they will enforce the ban on illegal fireworks more stringently this year.

Szymanski advised that pet owners with skittish animals should talk to their veterinarian to see if there's a sedative available. He also recommended over watering plants in the days leading up to Independence Day to protect them from burning.

"Green plants will not burn," he said.

People who set off illegal fireworks that burn someone else's property on fire may have to pay restitution. Fireworks are illegal after July 4 in Clark County. Residents cannot legally ignite fireworks to celebrate any other holiday.

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