Red Cross, fire crews stress safety ahead of Fourth of July
Jun 27, 2023, 1:38 PM | Updated: 1:52 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — As grass and other vegetation dry out and temperatures rise, the Red Cross and fire crews reminded Utahns of fireworks safety for the Fourth of July.
Every year sparks fly in Utah.
The Red Cross and Salt Lake City Fire Department know firsthand how dangerous fireworks can be.
Their message is how to prevent injuries and fires from happening this year.
“Fireworks are inherently explosives,” Captain Shaun Mumedy with the Salt Lake City Fire Department said.
No matter how big or small, fireworks can pose a risk.
This is what happens if lighting an illegal firework: 😳🔥💥
— Karah Brackin (@kbontv) June 27, 2023
“Some of those favorite fireworks that we know of – the sparkler for instance – can reach temperatures of 2,000 degrees,” Mumedy said.
High temperatures, low humidity, and wind combine to make unpredictable fire conditions.
“Your firework, they do unexpected things inherently, so the chance that they’re going to go off into a neighbor’s shed or into an area you weren’t expecting it, under those conditions, that does raise the risk,” Mumedy said.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks start nearly 20,000 fires every year around the country.
Firefighters say if you plan to celebrate the Fourth with fireworks, it’s best to set them off in a vast open space, preferably on pavement away from grass, trees, and nearby structures.
It is important to keep fire restrictions in mind. In Salt Lake, that is essentially everything East of 900 East and everything North of South Temple.
“There’s a corridor that follows the Jordan River about one to two blocks on each side of the Jordan River all the way through Salt Lake City. That’s off limits as well,” Mumedy said. “I think a lot of people might be feeling pretty safe. We’re past those flood dangers. We’re still getting a lot of water. Things are still green, but that doesn’t mean it can’t burn,” Mumedy added.
The fire department said it is not a good idea to use old fireworks from past years.
You don’t have to leave out the young ones. The Red Cross said bamboo sparklers and glow sticks are a good idea.