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Independence Day 2012 is less than a week away, and that means people across the valley began buying fireworks today in preparation for July 4, which is the only day of the year when people in Clark County can set them off. But safety advocates across Las Vegas are already trying to remind people about the dangers of fireworks – and the liability that comes with them.

Yesterday, a demonstration was held at Las Vegas Fire & Safety headquarters that was designed to pique the interest of fireworks-loving people. Fire officials blew up both a tomato and a cantaloupe using an illegal firecracker in an effort to show how much damage they can do. The event was to remind valley residents that only fireworks that carry the Safe n Sane emblem on them are allowed in Clark County. Products with that designation have been approved for use by fire department representatives.

But it’s also important to remember that people using fireworks of any kind are responsible for the damage and injuries they cause. So if a person is hurt by fireworks due to the negligence or recklessness of someone else, the victim has grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the offender to recoup medical costs and possibly damages relating to future medical care.

Officials are also urging every fireworks user to always place them on a flat surface before lighting them, and also to keep a bucket of water nearby in case a small fire erupts. In addition, they pointed out that it’s illegal to set off fireworks on sidewalks, streets, or federal land that’s not part of an Indian reservation.