LOS ANGELES, Calif.--Leaving the fireworks to the professionals this July Fourth is a safer alternative than setting off pyrotechnics yourself.
That's the message from safety officials to residents of Los Angeles County cities that allow the personal use of fireworks.
All fireworks are illegal for personal use within the city of Los Angeles, said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
"Many Los Angeles residents are surprised to learn that personal fireworks have been illegal in the city since World War II," Humphrey said.
LAFD Chief Millage Peaks said this is the time of year that fireworks-related injuries are the most common in Los Angeles, and that more fires are reported on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year.
Peaks urged parents to educate their children on the dangers of playing with fireworks, and he noted that sparklers can burn at a temperature of 1,200 degrees. Most fireworks-related injuries are to the hands and face areas, Peaks said.
The personal use of fireworks is legal in a number of cities in the county, which is a concern for public safety officials, said county fire Inspector Matt Levesque.
"It is a sensitive issue," Levesque said. "There is always the risk of injury--and of starting fires--and we want to make people aware of those dangers."
According to the state fire marshal's office, personal use of fireworks is allowed in the following cities in Los Angeles County: Alhambra, Artesia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bell, Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Carson, Commerce, Compton, Cudahy, Downey, Duarte, El Monte, Gardena, Hawaiian Gardens, Hawthorne, Huntington Park, Industry, Inglewood, Irwindale, La Mirada, La Puente, Lakewood, Lawndale, Lynwood, Maywood, Montebello, Monterey Park, Norwalk, Palmdale, Paramount, Pico Rivera, Rosemead, Santa Fe Springs, South El Monte, South Gate, Temple City, and Vernon.