Miami-Dade Authorities Push Fireworks Safety for New Year's

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue conducts inspection sweeps for illegal fireworks

By Diana Gonzalez
|  Monday, Dec 31, 2012  |  Updated 9:01 PM EDT
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Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel spent much of Monday conducting fireworks inspections at places they're sold, including Chris Winkler's tent in Kendall. Winkler, Percy Astete, fire inspector Juan Saud, and Matt Dixon spoke about fireworks.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel spent much of Monday conducting fireworks inspections at places they're sold, including Chris Winkler's tent in Kendall. Winkler, Percy Astete, fire inspector Juan Saud, and Matt Dixon spoke about fireworks.

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Authorities in Miami-Dade urged New Year's revelers to use caution when setting off fireworks to ring in 2013.

"We encourage residents of Miami-Dade County to be safe this New Year’s Eve when using even the most harmless looking fireworks,” Miami-Dade Fire Chief William W. Bryson said in a statement. "All fireworks pose a hazard when not used properly."

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Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel spent much of Monday conducting fireworks inspections at places they're sold to make sure vendors are properly certified by the state and selling only legal fireworks.

“A lot of the consumers, they want the stuff that can go up and blow up – I'd say a good 50 percent," tent owner Chris Winkler said in Kendall.

Percy Astete said that's what he'd been looking to buy.

“I wanted to buy the ones that shoot up in the air, actually. Right but, obviously, it's not legal," he said at Winkler's tent.

Instead, Astete said, he bought a $40 pack and a few poppers.

According to a 2012 report from the National Fire Protection Association, more than 8,000 fireworks-related injuries are treated in emergency rooms across the country each year, fire rescue officials said. Children under 15 account for 40 percent of those injured.

Most fireworks-related injuries are caused by sparklers, which burn at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.

“We just make sure that the kids are far back from the fireworks and they're safe where they’re at," said Matt Dixon of Kendall.

Miami Ready to Kick Off New Year's Celebration

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