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Miami-Dade fire inspectors target illegal fireworks

'If it launches or it explodes, it's illegal,' fire inspector says

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. – Miami-Dade fire inspectors are fanning out across the county ahead of New Year's Eve.

Crews are searching for illegal fireworks being sold at shops and stands on the side of the road, saying these fireworks are a major problem every year and can result in fines, jail times and especially serious injuries.

"If it launches or it explodes, it's illegal," said inspector Julio Cerra. "So pretty much that's how you will know. It will tell you right on the package."

Close to 10,000 people go to emergency rooms across the country every year due to fireworks-related injuries.

Fire officials said the risk is two-and-a-half times greater for children and young adults.

They hope people will stick to fountains, sparklers and fireworks that shoot smoke or colors instead this year.

The best option, crews said, is to attend a local professional show to avoid any complications or operator error.

"We always see issues with children getting hurt, people losing fingers, fires," said Cerra.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue inspectors will be out in full force checking businesses again Wednesday.

Crews are also checking permits at tents and shops around the area.

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