Metro cracking down on illegal fireworks

LAS VEGAS - Last Fourth of July, there were more than 4,500 emergency calls in Metro's jurisdiction alone and an additional 5,000 calls made to 3-1-1.

For the first time, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department will have officers specifically cracking down on illegal fireworks.

If you want to stay out of trouble this Independence Day, you might want to buy all of your fireworks from safe and sane stands around the Las Vegas valley.

The rush in on to buy fireworks ahead of America's birthday.

"Today it's been really fast. It's been going by quicker than normal," said Gabriela Wells, who is selling fireworks at a local stand with safe and sane fireworks.

Some customers are purchasing their fireworks from stands approved by local police and fire departments.

Customers, like Peggy Heggins, look forward to the yearly celebration.

"It's a lot of fun to me. I've done it all my life.

Meanwhile, police are urging the public to stay away from illegal fireworks. Those include fireworks that shoot up or explode in the air. Those fireworks are not allowed in Clark County.

"Our goal is not to arrest people, cite people. We just want to get illegal fireworks off the street," said Metro Capt. Rich Fletcher.

Metro is trying out something new this year. A group of officers will be out in full force confiscating fireworks that are prohibited in valley neighborhoods.

"Our goal is to take the illegal fireworks, drop them off at pre-designated fire stations throughout the valley and dispose of them safely," Capt. Fletcher said.

Metro is working with fire departments in hopes of preventing tragedies, including fires and injuries.

"We had more injuries last year than we ever had," said Tim Szymanski, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue. "We even had three children that were admitted to the burn unit and one of them was in the burn unit for a few months."

First responders say remembering simple tips makes all the difference.

Be sure to have a garden hose nearby, light up fireworks away from any vegetation or structures and never allow children to handle them. Even the legal ones can be dangerous.

"My son is 21-years-old and they light them off," Heggins said.

Remember, fireworks after tomorrow at midnight are not allowed.

Police will also be on the lookout for people firing off their guns, which is not only dangerous but can land you in jail.


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