While state-approved fireworks may offer colorful displays or make loud screeching noises, they do not go up in the air, explode or bounce on the ground in an uncontrolled manner.
Those who are cited for using illegal fireworks can face fines of as much as $50,000 and up to one year in jail.
Stanislaus County fire and law enforcement officials will be out in force during the Fourth of July holiday period to enforce state laws that allow officials to cite people who sell, possess or use illegal fireworks. Parents are also liable for any fire damage or injury caused by children using illegal fireworks.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers the following safety tips for using fireworks:
• Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teenagers if they are using fireworks.
• Young children should not be allowed to handle or use fireworks.
• Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
• Always have water ready when setting off fireworks.
• Read the caution label before igniting.
• Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal in the area where you live, do not use them.
• Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
• Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
• Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
• Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor trash can.
• Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives: They can be lethal.
• Report illegal explosives, such as M-80s and quarter sticks, to a fire or police department.
The National Council on Fire Safety offers these tips, if using sparklers:
• Always remain standing while using sparklers.
• People should never hold children in their arms while using sparklers.
• Never hold or light more than one sparkler at a time.
• Never throw sparklers.
• Sparkler wires and sticks remain hot long after the flame has gone out. Be sure to drop spent sparklers into a bucket of water.
• Teach children not to wave sparklers or run while holding sparklers.
For information: www.fireworkssafety.org