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Staying safe while using fireworks this holiday weekend

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Posted at 5:55 PM, Jul 02, 2021

People often enjoy setting off fireworks on the 4th of July, but when not used safely, they can lead to brush fires and bodily injury.

"A firework of any kind can really quickly ignite a wildfire that can pose immediate danger to our community," said San Luis Obispo Fire Dept. PIO James Blattler.

Blattler says fireworks pose an immediate threat to our community and if one does start a fire, it is best to call 911 immediately.

"The number one thing we want them to do is call 911. After 911 has been called, make sure everyone in the area has been alerted," Blattler said.

He adds it is important to alert neighbors who might be unaware of the severity of the situation.

"If the fire is small enough and you feel comfortable to put it out with a garden hose or a fire extinguisher, go ahead and try to do that. But if at any time you start to feel uncomfortable that the fire is starting to get larger and more out of control, step back, alert your neighbors, alert everyone around and just wait for the fire department to come in and put it out," Blattler said.

Emergency room physician Dr. Cinnamon Redd says some burns are severe enough to require a trip to the hospital, but others can be treated at home.

"So the first thing you want to do if you get burned is you want to put the injured body part in some cool water. We don't want to actually put ice on it but we want to actually cool it in some nice cool water for about 20 minutes. If you have an article of clothing on that got burned, you want to get that piece of burned clothing off so it doesn't keep burning you," Dr. Redd said.

Once the burn cools off, she recommends cleaning it with mild soap and water and putting a bandage on it.

"We're gonna be there as fast as we can. It'll be within minutes of that first 911 call. I know sometimes when you call 911 it seems like forever but we really get there very promptly," Blattler said.

Safe and sane fireworks are only allowed to be sold and used in certain cities. In most in places on the Central Coast, including San Luis Obispo, all fireworks are illegal.