For Immediate Release
Reno, Nevada. June 28, 2013. With the extreme heat, dry conditions and the upcoming July 4 holiday, the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD) is reminding Washoe County residents that, with the exception of approved public fireworks displays, fireworks are illegal within Washoe County.
“While it may be legal to purchase fireworks in some locations outside of Washoe County and on Tribal Lands, it is illegal to possess or use fireworks and/or pyrotechnics within the TMFPD, which includes the unincorporated areas of the County,” said TMFPD Fire Marshal Amy Ray. “Illegal possession or use of fireworks can result in fines up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail for each offense.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association:
- In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires
, and16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated 8 civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.
- In 2011, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,600 people for fireworks related injuries; 61 percent of 2011 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 34 percent were to the head.
- The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-19 and adults 25-44.
- In an average year, far more U.S. fires are reported July 4 than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
- Should an individual choose to use fireworks, and this use causes property damage or injury, the individual shall be held responsible both legally and financially. Individuals who use fireworks and start a fire will be billed for the cost of response and suppression activities.
TMFPD is also recommending those using barbeque grills be mindful of safety. While gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires than their charcoal counterparts, all grills pose a risk for fires and burns.
Some tips to remember when grilling this summer:
- Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
- Charcoal grills are prohibited for use in an apartment complex.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grill and from trays below the grill.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
- Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
- If you use a charcoal grill, be sure to let the coals cool completely after grilling before placing them in a metal container, soaking them in water, and then disposing them after checking them again.
For more information, contact Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District’s Fire Prevention Division at (775) 326-6000 or visit www.washoecounty.us/tmfpd.