VIDEO: San Francisco firefighters warn about fireworks dangers


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Fireworks are a traditional part of many families’ Fourth of July celebrations, but the reality is, they are illegal to use in many Bay Area cities.

San Francisco police have a warning Friday night that even the safe and sane variety can cause injuries and damage.

The boom and bang and the sizzle and crackle of consumer grade fireworks are fun to watch but even ones labeled safe and sane can cause big problems.

“Fireworks, including safe and sane, cause injuries,” Lt. Jonathan Baxter said. “They cause fires and they have caused deaths.”

Lt. Baxter knows first-hand the destruction one night of revelry involving illegal fireworks can bring.

He remembers what happened on just one of his shifts on a past Fourth of July holiday.

“We responded to a grass fire, we responded to a garbage can fire, we responded to a car fire, we responded to a house fire, and we responded to a tree fire, and we respond to a bus fire…,” Baxter said. “These are all from fireworks. None of these things were attributed to anything else other than fireworks. That’s a lot of property damage just for one engine company out of 45 in San Francisco we respond to.”

Even though fireworks called safe and sane are being sold in cities like Dublin, Pacifica and San Bruno, those cannot be used in many neighboring cities or even possessed in San Francisco City Limits.

Even sparklers can cause serious injuries.

“I can distinctively remember having children that are innocent,” Lt. Baxter said, “that are trusting their parents that something as simple as a sparkler is safe having third-degree burns on their hands and their arms.”

Since the use of illegal fireworks can result in fines or even jail time, the city’s fire department says coming out to the waterfront to check out the free and professional fireworks show is the best and safest option.




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