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Police On Lookout For Illegal Fireworks As Fourth Of July Approaches

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DENVER (CBS4) – As it gets closer to Fourth of July celebrations and the summer heats up there is an extra reason to be careful with the festive sparks. Police will be really cracking down this week on anyone using illegal fireworks.

Even something that seems as harmless as a sparkler may not be safe.

“I just like how they light up and make colors and stuff,” said Tristian Esparza, who was with his mother buying fireworks on Sunday.

“He’s been dying to come and get some fireworks, and same as him, I just like the colors and it’s just a lot of family fun,” Tristian’s mother Cindy Esparza said.

While the fiery colors might be fun, fire officials remind people that they can also be lethal.

“Starting fires, injuring people, killing people is no way to celebrate Independence Day,” said Einar Jensen, Life Safety Educator with South Metro Fire Rescue.

Jensen says even snakes and sparklers are a dangerous tool.

“The end of that sparkler is burning at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to not only boil water and ignite wood and melt glass, it’s hot enough to burn and kill,” Jensen said.

Fireworks are illegal in many of Denver metro’s cities and counties.

“According to Colorado state law, some fireworks are illegal, period,” Jensen said.

That includes anything that leaves the ground, any fountain that showers more than 15-feet tall, anything that shoots fireballs, or anything that explodes.

“At Davey Jones everything we sell is Colorado legal, is how we word it. That means nothing will leave the ground, and nothing will make a big boom,” Julie Falk with Davey Jones Fireworks said.

Children under 16 have to be supervised by an adult.

“We just try to be as safe as we can,” Cindy Esparza said.

In the city of Denver no fireworks are permitted. People can be ticketed and fireworks confiscated. But where they are allowed, officials say keep a hose or a bucket of water nearby and make sure the area is clear of grass or combustibles.

Since firework regulations are changing daily, people are asked to check with their local law enforcement to see what’s legal or illegal in their area.

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