A reminder that personal fireworks are illegal in Fort Collins

Fourth of July fireworks may be an American pastime, but Fort Collins residents are reminded that use of all fireworks is illegal — including sparklers and snakes.

Possession and storage of fireworks is also prohibited. A violation could result in a fine up to $2,750. Representatives from Fort Collins Police Services and Poudre Fire Authority will be out on fireworks patrol on and around July 4.

Each July 4, thousands of people — most often children and teens — are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks, which include devastating burns, injuries, fires and even death.

Last year, 54 people went to Poudre Valley Hospital or Medical Center of the Rockies’ emergency rooms with fireworks-related injuries from July 2-7, UC Health data shows. Among those, the most common were head, foot and face burns and injuries.

Nationwide in 2013, approximately 11,400 people suffered injuries related to fireworks, including eight deaths. Sparklers and rockets accounted for more than 40 percent of all injuries, according to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission data.

Fireworks are also disruptive to pets, families and emergency responders. In past years, Fort Collins dispatchers have received hundreds of fireworks complaint calls on July 4, and Animal Protection and Control dispatchers have been called to pick up dogs that run at the booming and cracking sounds. When it comes to using fireworks for your celebrations, consider the impacts to those around you, whether people or animals.

Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, which can become frightened or disoriented by the sounds. Please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities, and opt instead to keep them safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home, as advised by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Pets are prohibited at City-sponsored fireworks events.

If you want to see spectacular fireworks, attend the professional Independence Day display at City Park. When you go, keep in mind that pets, alcohol and especially fireworks (other than the professional display) are not allowed. In addition, all City parks and events – including the July Fourth celebrations – are now smoke free.

The City of Fort Collins, Fort Collins Police Services, Poudre Fire Authority, Animal Protection and Control, and our partner agencies wish you a safe and enjoyable holiday. And remember: Leave the fireworks to the professionals.

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