Earlier today, the LAPD participated in a news conference hosted by the Los Angeles County Fire Department at their headquarters and training facility, the Cecil R. Gehr Training Center in Los Angeles. The goal of the event was to raise awareness about the many dangers and illegality of fireworks.
Safety issues discussed at the news conference included greatly increased risks of fires, property damage, serious injury and legal consequences. Along with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, guest speakers included Los Angeles County Fire Chief Deputy Mark Bennett, Los Angeles City Fire Interim Chief James Featherstone, Los Angeles County Sheriff Interim John Scott and a physician from the Grossman Burn Center. Each speaker, after discussing the dangers of fireworks, encouraged everyone seeking out fireworks in celebration of the July 4th holiday to attend professional fireworks displays.
Chief Beck reminded everyone that fireworks are illegal in the City of Los Angeles and setting them off could result in arrest.
A Grossman Burn Center physician took the podium and showed photos of burn victims as he provided statistics and information about the physical dangers of fireworks.
Lastly, four school children were called to the podium who were winners of a “visit a fireworks show” poster contest to discourage people from setting off their own pyrotechnics.
After the guest speakers, a demonstration was held to exemplify fireworks’ volatility. A sparkler was shown easily igniting clothing and bomb-type fireworks caused a phone book and watermelons to explode, shooting debris into the air.