Possessing fireworks is illegal, reminds GFD - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Possessing fireworks is illegal, reminds GFD

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Nothing marks a celebration quite like a fireworks ending, and with the Liberation Day holiday around the corner, the Guam Fire Department reminds residents, it is illegal to possess the explosives.

"We are still conducting Operation Dragon Slayer. That's actually been going on for the last four years. We've been confiscating fireworks throughout the year. So when we do find these, we have to destroy them," explained GFD Fire Prevention Bureau Captain Ron Castro. Early Wednesday morning he confirms GFD destroyed a palette's worth of fireworks.

Although Castro can't disclose the value or volume of the explosives, they were discovered by Guam Customs who intercepted the items before they made it to the recipient. 

"We confiscated fireworks from a storage company that was in conjunction with the Customs and with the fire department to confiscate any fireworks coming into the island because we all know actually illegal to bring in fireworks," he said.

Currently, only one vendor has the licensing to attain fireworks on island.

"You have to be licensed to be authorized to bring in fireworks to Guam. It actually has to go through a whole process of clearances with the FAA, FBI, GPD, Revenue & Tax, and GFD," he said.

When illegally owned fireworks are intercepted, they are immediately destroyed.

Castro said, "We actually leave the option for the owner of the fireworks or explosives to either ship it back or have it destroyed with our presence. Or we can have it destroyed for them."

If put in the wrong hands, fireworks could turn a momentous occasion into disaster. In the past, Castro has seen injuries as a result of misuse of the explosives.

"You can get burned. It's an explosive hazard. Basically it's just a safety hazard for most people, especially kids. If its not handled properly. And adults too. They like to play with fireworks and use it improperly. And it can actually become a serious physical hazard," he said.

Locally, illegally owned fireworks will result in a misdemeanor charge. Castro confirms GFD officials are working to increase the fines and consequences for illegal use.

If you suspect anyone is selling or misusing fireworks, you are urged to call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 646-8810.

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