The San Francisco Fire Department wants you to have a safe and fun 4th of July celebration. Part of that, they remind us via numerous public safety notices sent out ahead of the holiday weekend, means both not blowing yourself up and not burning down your neighbor's house with fireworks.
"On the Fourth of July over the past three years, the San Francisco Fire Department has responded to 53 fireworks-related grass fires, in addition to multiple structure fires that were also caused by fireworks," SFPD officials tell us on a fireworks safety page. "Fireworks can cause severe burns, fractures or scars, and can even result in death or life-long disfigurement. The thousands of serious injuries that occur each year typically involve damage to the eyes, head or hands, with the risk of fireworks-related injuries highest for children 5 - 14."
But wait, there's more. "Each year more than 12,000 fireworks-related injuries, half of them children, are treated in hospital emergency rooms [nationwide]."
And in case you were thinking about playing it safe and only letting your small children wave around sparklers, think again. "Something as simple as a sparkler burns at temperatures of up to 1,800 degrees," reads a SFPD fact sheet. "That’s hot enough to melt gold."
There's also that pesky fact that all fireworks are illegal in SF — including sparklers.
But don't get too bummed out! There are plenty of ways to legally celebrate your love of country by watches things explode. There are two annual firework 4th of July displays over the Bay, and this year is no different. One display is shot off from the Municipal Pier, and the other from a barge in front of Pier 39. They both start at 9:30 p.m., but you may want to get there early to grab a good viewing spot.
Or, you know, just go to the Mission.