OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City first responders are preparing for the 4th of July with many planning on shooting off fireworks.
Around the 4th of July, about 280 people go to the Emergency Room every year statewide.
OU Health professionals say they see a significant amount of trauma around the holiday.. So, to prepare, they will have extra nurses and more providers on call throughout this holiday weekend.
“You want to make sure that adults are the ones lighting the fireworks, you don’t really want children to light them. You want to make sure that your fireworks have a long tail that you’re lighting so you have time to get very far away from them before they go off; and you want to make sure you’re not holding on to any of these things while you’re lighting them,” said Amanda Celii, a trauma and burn surgeon at OU Health.
Amanda Celii, a trauma and burn surgeon at OU Health says they see a significant number of burns to the arms. 14 percent of injuries around fireworks come from sparklers.
“They burn at a temperature of 800 degrees, so, they’re actually very, very hot so you want to be very careful when you’re using them. So, we get a lot of burns to the arms and hands and even the face… We do see unfortunately a significant number of injuries where there’s some amputations to fingers or in some instances, even larger, like a leg where people are shooting larger fireworks off of themselves,” said Celii.
Celii also suggests having water close by in case things get caught on fire. Housefires could happen.
That was the case for a Newalla home Saturday night. The house fire was caused by fireworks.
Newalla Fire Rescue says “This is a reminder after you get done with your fireworks leave them outside away from any structures. If you do want to throw them away in a trash can soak them in a bucket of water first. Fireworks can smolder for hours after being set off.”
Oklahoma City First responders are also reminding you that the manufacturer of sale, storage and use of fireworks are strictly prohibited in Oklahoma City.
“Call 911 if someone is witnessed using fireworks. This includes if a fire, injury, or property damage happens as a result of fireworks use. Callers should be prepared to identify and describe the person using fireworks, as well as give the exact location of where the fireworks are being used,” said Donnie Bennett, Captain at the Oklahoma City Fire Department.
The firework ban also applies to all private and public properties in Oklahoma City including parks, lakes and areas along the Oklahoma River.
“The best way to enjoy fireworks on the 4th of July is to attend a public, professional display. Professional public displays have permits from the Oklahoma City Fire Marshals Office,” said Bennett.
The Oklahoma City Fire Department, Police Department and the County Sheriff’s Office have formed a task force to strictly enforce firework ordinances on the 4th of July.
Violators are subject to a fine of up to $1,200 and all fireworks will be seized.