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June 5, 2007: Fireworks safety urged during drought conditions
 
Recent drought conditions have dried out plants, trees and lawns throughout South Florida. That is why our Public Safety officials are stressing extra caution this Fourth of July holiday. Coral Springs Fire Department spokesman Mike Moser said the drought, lack of humidity and heat all increase the risk of a brush fire. Low humidity, coupled with these other factors, causes the grass and plants to dry out, making them more susceptible to fire. “Just the warmth of that firework could cause a fire,” Moser said, noting that even fireworks that ignite in mid-air are still hot when they land. “You don’t need a flame to start a fire.” Any fireworks that explode or fly in the air are illegal. To help keep families safe, the Coral Springs Police Department plans to hire extra officers on July 4 to help respond to the additional calls for service. “Our number one goal is to make sure people are safe and use our discretion and warning system to tell people the fireworks they have are illegal,” Police Chief Duncan Foster said. “But if we have to go back repeatedly, we’re going to confiscate fireworks or cite people for using fireworks illegally.” Foster encouraged people who see illegal firework use to call the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 954-344-1800. Last year, fireworks caused four brush fires and one injury in Coral Springs. Nationwide, according to the National Fire Prevention Association, 10,800 people received treatment for fireworks-related injuries in 2005, with burns making up more than half of those.



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