The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department’s (SDFRD) bomb squad detonated several fireworks during a controlled demonstration on Friday morning to show how they can be dangerous and a fire hazard.
“Accidents and injuries from fireworks are all too common,” said Fire Chief Brian Fennessy. “This demonstration is an important tool that shows us how dangerous and damaging fireworks can be.”
During the demonstration the bomb squad detonated a simulated firework in a watermelon to show the force a firework blast can have. They also filled a plastic glove with ground beef before detonating another simulated firecracker, to show the impact a firework can have if one goes off in a person’s hand.
Bomb Technician Matt Scarpuzzi, who was involved in the controlled demonstration, said the most common injuries from fireworks are to the hands and eyes, which may result in burns or amputations.
“The number one injury we see is actually related to sparklers," said Scarpuzzi. “They are one of the smallest, simplest fireworks, but they get so hot that even once they’re done they’re a severe burn hazard.”
All fireworks are illegal in San Diego County, according the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
This includes fireworks labeled “consumer” or “safe and sane,” such as sparklers, cherry bombs, bottle rockets and poppers, according to NFPA.
Scarpuzzi said San Diego leaders likely banned fireworks because of San Diego’s history with wild fires.
The heat and dry weather makes brush fires one of the biggest concerns for the fire department, in addition to the injuries involved, said Scarpuzzi.
“Even the smallest spark from a firework can light off an entire brush fire,” said Scarpuzzi. “We really, really, really want people to be safe, both with themselves and the environment.”
“Anyone who negligently causes a fire to start can be held criminally and financially responsible,” said Escondido Fire Chief Rick Vogt in a statement regarding the 4th of July.
Barbecue and fire pits can also pose potentially serious injuries, according to the SDFRD.
Information for families who plan to partake in barbecues or bonfires at the beaches can be found at the Burn Institute website.
San Diego residents are encouraged to partake in the free firework shows scheduled around San Diego on the 4th of July.