The New Year is here and the San Diego Fire Chief Juan Soliz wants to advise residents that fireworks are NOT legal within city limits and could face hefty fines if caught.


Residents outside city limits who want to take part in the New Year festivities and set off fireworks should be careful.


Fire Chief Soliz would like to advise everyone to avoid setting off near dry grass and check on burn bans in the county.


Duval and Jim Wells Counties just lifted the burn ban, but caution should always be used in the area.


“Anyone who sees a fire unattended or an issue of concern - it is better to be safe than sorry,” Soliz said. “Don’t hesitate to contact your local fire department or message myself personally.“


The majority of firework injuries that occur are due to amateurs who attempt to use professional grade, homemade or illegal fireworks. Even smaller fireworks like sparklers can burn at a very high temperature and account for 25 percent of emergency visits from firework injuries.


An estimated 1,200 firework injuries were from less powerful devices like firecrackers and sparklers with young adults and children under the age of 20, according to the National Safety Council at www.nsc.org.


If you choose to use legal fireworks the National Safety Council recommends following these guidelines.


* Never allow small children to handle fireworks


* Older children should use them only under close adult supervision


* Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol


* Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eye wear


* Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands


* Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material


* Never point or throw fireworks at another person


* Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting


* Never ignite devices in a container


* Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks


* Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.


* Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that do not go off or in case of fire.


* Never use illegal fireworks


Always remember to call 9-1-1 if an emergency should arise.