The El Paso Fire Department wants to advise residents of El Paso and the surrounding areas that there is no safe way to use consumer fireworks.

The El Paso Fire Department would like to remind the public that the use of fireworks inside the City of El Paso is illegal. Residents caught using fireworks inside city limits can be issued a citation with fines as high as $2,000. More importantly, there is no safe way to use consumer fireworks. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, between 2009 and 2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an annual average of 18,500 fires caused by fireworks. These fires included 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, 16,900 outside fires.

Last year, two NFL players made headlines by losing fingers in accidents involving fireworks. The two separate, high-profile incidents raised awareness about the dangers of consumer fireworks. Jason Pierre-Paul a defensive end for the New York Giants lost the tip of his thumb and had his right index finger amputated last year after he lit a firework and it exploded in his hand. Today he released a PSA explaining just how dangerous it really is to handle fireworks.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than half of firework injuries each year are to extremities: hand or finger (36%), legs (14%) and arms (5%). Most of the remaining injuries were to parts of the head (38%), including the eyes (16%).

According to the CPSC’s 2014 Fireworks Annual Report, fireworks caused an estimated 10,500 injuries that needed treatment at emergency hospitals across the nation. The report points out that 67% of these medical emergencies occurred between June 20 and July 20 of 2014. That year, there were also 11 firework-related deaths, several of which involved people who were not using fireworks but were trapped in house fires that were caused by them.

About 35% of people injured by fireworks are under the age of 15. Children ages 5-9 require the highest level of emergency treatment.

Avoid senseless injuries and accidents and enjoy this Fourth of July by attending a firework display put on by trained professionals.

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