Fire officials urge ‘safe and sane’ fireworks use

To curb Fourth of July injuries and fires, Clark County limits fireworks to those labeled “safe and sane” – smaller fireworks and sparklers that were tested and approved for sale by valley fire departments.

But things can still go wrong. Las Vegas Fire Department spokesman Tim Szymanski said he has been at big fires that were started by legal fireworks.

Independence Day is the busiest day of the year for the department, Szymanski said, but he is optimistic it will be relatively uneventful, as the past few years have been.

The department has spent weeks urging people to be responsible when it comes to lighting fireworks.

Fire officials have a list of tips:

■ Have a hose and bucket handy.

■ Light fireworks on hard, flat surfaces like parking lots and driveways.

■ Supervise children and don’t let them light fireworks.

■ Be careful with fireworks that have failed to light.

■ Soak used fireworks in water for an hour before throwing them away.

■ Check for any signs of smoke or fire after using fireworks.

Selling or lighting any fireworks, including the “Safe and Sane” ones, will be illegal in Clark County again at midnight July 5.

Any bottle rockets or Roman candles bought in Nye County or on an Indian reservation are banned .

Police can confiscate illegal fireworks and give citations for using them. Las Vegas police spokesman Marcus Martin said officers will aid fire departments with calls about illegal use, but drunken driving and other daily crime is the primary concern for police during the holiday.

All fireworks are illegal on federally owned lands including Red Rock Canyon and Mount Charleston.

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