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Calls increase 176% on Fourth of July from fireworks injuries, blazes, says Phoenix Fire Department

The Phoenix Fire Department is considering having extra crews work the Fourth of July.

On a typical day, Phoenix gets between seven and 21 fire calls. The department reviewed data going back to 2018 and found that on New Year’s Day, calls increased 161%. On the Fourth of July, calls jumped 176%.

Assistant Chief Tim Kreis said calls for medical help often involve spectators.

“Data shows that fireworks related injuries where Phoenix Fire responded to treat a patient were the result of someone standing too close and being hit by fireworks when they go off," Kreis said.

He said fire calls related to fireworks are often in areas with dry vegetation.

“Grass, brush, debris, buildings, etc. Additionally, illegal fireworks are aerial fireworks and those aerial fireworks are typically associated with tree fires where it then could potentially spread to other properties and other structures," Kreis said.

Fireworks that explode or detonate in the air are illegal any time of the year in Arizona. 

State law permits the sale and use of consumer fireworks over Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day, Christmas, New Year’s and Diwali, which marks the start of the New Year in the Hindu calendar. Over the four holiday periods, fountain-style fireworks, sparkling wheel devices and ground spinners are permitted.

Fireworks that are allowed year-round include sparklers, party poppers, snakes and smoker devices.

The Phoenix Fire Department will launch a social media campaign and distribute educational brochures. 

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.