Fire Safety

Phoenix firefighters demonstrate how dangerous a sparkler can be by lighting a cotton T-shirt on fire with just the sparks from a sparkler.

Allison Hurtado

The Phoenix Fire Department is sending out an annual reminder to all people to leave the fireworks to the professionals. 

The state of Arizona may have legalized the sale of some fireworks, but most fireworks are still illegal to set off in the city of Phoenix. The only fireworks that are OK are novelty fireworks like sparklers, but even those can be dangerous.

According to the Phoenix Fire Department, nationally 200 people per day visit the emergency room with fireworks injuries in the months surrounding the Fourth of July. Sixty-five percent of all fireworks injuries happen during the summer months.

“It really is horrifying,” said Dr. Kevin Foster, chief of burn services for the Arizona Burn Center. “All of these injuries are preventable. Just because these fireworks are legal does not mean they are safe. Anything that explodes or catches on fire is potentially dangerous to human beings. Once you are injured or burned by fireworks it’s never coming back. There’s no treatment to make that better.”

For those who do plan to set off the novelty fireworks that are legal in Phoenix, experts say to never allow children to handle the flame and the lighting of the product. If something doesn’t go off, do not attempt to relight it. Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies and ensure that nothing flammable is nearby. Light any fireworks one at a time and make sure everything is extinguished when you are done.

More safety tips and information can be found at

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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