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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

July 1, 2011

Contact: Christian Hoffman, Special Agent, PIO

Office: (818) 265-2507

Cell: (213) 216-3622

ATF Promotes a Safe July 4th Celebration and Awareness of the Dangers of Fireworks

LOS ANGELES – Special Agent in Charge John A. Torres of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (ATF) Los Angeles Field Division, wishes for Southern California residents to have a safe and responsible Fourth of July celebration.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently posted its statistics that in 2010 that there were approximately 8,600 emergency room visits for injuries resulting in the use of consumer and illegal fireworks, said Torres. The public needs to be aware that 53 percent of fireworks injuries occurred to people younger than 20 years in age and resulted in the loss of a limb in many cases. So my message to the public is parent's watch your babies and adults watch over the younger adults.

With Independence Day just around the corner, ATF reminds the public to keep safety in mind when using consumer fireworks. The instructions printed on the fireworks’ product packaging must be followed carefully. Also, residents need to be aware of their local laws regulating the use of fireworks. Even sparklers often sold at firework stands to children, can burn at 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.

We want every Fourth of July to be a time to celebrate and to enjoy time with your families, said Torres. The CPSC reported that 43 percent of tested fireworks were not compliant with the Federal Hazardous Substance Act (FHSA), please don't take a chance, allow the professionals to handle fireworks and enjoy the show.

ATF is the federal law enforcement agency charged with enforcing federal explosives law. ATF actively works with federal, state, and local agencies, to prevent the manufacture, trafficking and illegal possession of illegal fireworks and illegal explosive devices. Federally banned explosive devices commonly mislabeled as fireworks include M-80s, M-100s, silver salutes and cherry bombs. These explosive devices are very dangerous and are made illegally. They are made without being regulated and without any quality assurance. In other words each explosive device can vary in the amount of explosive powder placed inside and can be unpredictable.

The public is urged to report illegal sales of professional-grade fireworks or other explosive devices such as M-80s to their local police department and to ATF by calling 1-888-ATF-BOMB, or 1-888-283-2662. Callers can remain anonymous.

More information about ATF and its programs is available at