Los Angeles officials warn of fireworks danger for Fourth of July

Brian Watt/KPCC

Los Angeles officials with City Hall and the Fire Department are preparing for the Fourth of July with renewed warnings of the dangers of fireworks. Brian Cummings (above) says that the Fourth is consistently the LAFD's busiest day of the year.

Los Angeles officials with City Hall and the Fire Department are preparing for Independence Day with renewed warnings of the dangers of fireworks. Los Angeles Fire Chief Brian Cummings says almost half the people injured in fireworks-related incidents are under the age of 15.

"It is so important that you keep children away from sparklers or any kind of fireworks or fire," said Cummings. "Those sparklers that seem to be so safe and innocent burn at over 1,200 degrees. It just takes a second of you turning away to have a tragedy for a young child."

It is illegal to use any type of firework in the city of Los Angeles, but Cummings and other city officials know fireworks are available for purchase in other cities and the unincorporated parts of L.A. County.

Cummings joined L.A. City Council members Bernard Parks and Jan Perry at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Monday to promote the city-sponsored Fourth of July fireworks show that will take place there Wednesday night.

All three emphasized the importance of celebrating the holiday safely and legally.

“This year, as we continue to deal with drought issues and temperatures continue to rise, it’s more imperative that we join forces to ensure that this holiday is safe for everyone,” Perry said.

Cummings said that the Fourth of July is historically the busiest day of the year for the Los Angeles Fire Department. It has already begun to boost staffing levels for the whole week, and there will be more fire engines on the streets on Wednesday than normal.

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