SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Pioneer Day is almost here and while lightning fireworks may be tempting, if you start a fire, it will cost you.
“From a damages standpoint, having- incurring life-altering costs,” Salt Lake City Division Chief Anthony Allred said.
Lighting fireworks in restricted areas can cost you a fine of up to $1,000 but in civil court, Utahns are liable for all the damage a fire causes.
“They have been responsible for all the costs of firefighting as well as any damages to homes, fences, and property including bushes and trees,” Salt Lake City Fire Department (SLCFD) Division Chief Dan Walker said.
The reason is, that sending just one firetruck to the scene costs $1,200 per hour.
Firefighters say the fire on the fourth of July in Salt Lake City seemed small but the cost was huge.
A garage was damaged but SLCFD said repairs will cost tens of thousands of dollars.
“Our initial estimates we put it at is $50,000 for a small outbuilding,” Allred said.
Also, there’s the cost of medical bills if you or a loved one gets injured.
Firefighters said they see many people burned from misused fireworks.
“You see children running around with them. I ran around with them as a child, and I’ve been burnt by them as a child. They’re as hot as a blowtorch,” Walker said.
When firefighters respond to these fires, you’re taking away response teams from other emergencies.
“Our biggest concern is our resources is being taken away to from where they are generally supposed to be to fight those wildfires,” Walker said.
Firefighters said firework restrictions are put in place for a reason.
“The reason those areas are closed is caused fireworks are not a safe area over there,” Allred said. “Show a little respect for your neighbors, and follow the rules with personal fireworks.”
Firefighters said to avoid firework fires to have a hose handy or to have a bucket full of water just to make sure they are completely out before you throw them away. Firework restrictions can be seen here.