Fireworks safety tips for New Year's Eve

MESA, AZ - Despite a 2010 law that allows fireworks, the state still bans certain types and many cities ban all.

The easy way to remember the difference between the legal and illegal fireworks is that the illegal ones explode and shoot off into the sky.

On Wednesday, Mesa Fire Department officials showed the different types and urged adults to be careful when buying and lighting fireworks over the New Year's weekend.

"With the illegal ones, you really just don't know," said Mesa Fire Marshall Rich Kochanski. "They're unpredictable, sometimes brought from Mexico."

Kochanski said they're not always regulated and are sometimes homemade, which he fears could hurt people.

During a demonstration, firefighters used a hot dog as a way to show the kind of damage your skin can sustain if a firecracker blows up in your hand.

"They are actually quite dangerous," Kochanski said. "We're worried about kids holding on to them."

Victims could suffer third-degree burns.

Legal fireworks are typically a fountain of some sort with sparks and showers of colors with sound.

If you're going to light up fireworks, Kochanski reminds parents and kids to do it in an open area.

Have a fire extinguisher nearby, he said.

And once you're done, toss the used fireworks in a bucket of water.

And be careful with duds. Firefighters advise you stay away from them for a while if they fail to light up.

"We have an opportunity here to teach our children how to use these things appropriately," Kochanski said.

In Mesa, it is legal to light up fireworks Dec. 30, 31 and January 1.

But certain municipalities banned the lighting of fire works all together. It is best to check your city rules before lighting up fireworks. ABC15 has a list of cities that permit certain types of fireworks here .

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