As the Fourth of July draws closer the San Antonio Fire Department is urging residents not to use fireworks within the city limits.
In a demonstration, the Fire Department blew-up five hot dogs to illustrate the effects an accident can have on someone’s fingers. It also destroyed a watermelon, tomatoes, ground beef and a whole cooked chicken to show the explosive impact of mismanaged fireworks.
Possessing, transporting, and using fireworks in the city limits is a misdemeanor and can carry a fine of $2,000. SAFD Deputy Chief Carl Wedige said the National Fire Protection Association estimates 8,700 people were treated across the U.S. for fireworks related injuries in 2012.
“Last Fourth of July the San Antonio Fire Department responded 26 brush and grass fires and ten trash fires that may have the resulted of fireworks use,” Wedige said. “That fire danger is not the only problem with fireworks use, there is also a high probability of injury.”
Although firework usage is legal in unincorporated parts of the county, the department still recommends viewing a professional show instead. SAFD public information officer Deborah Foster said even the smallest sparks can start a fire that could create property damage.
“Just one little tiny spark that’s in any place that’s dry or combustible, that fire can actually spread very quickly,” Foster said. “We can see it go through a yard, a house and we can have devastation within four minutes.”
The fire department has set up its annual fireworks hotline to report those violating the city ordinance on July 4th between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. The number is 207-0202.