ALHAMBRA (CBSLA.com) — Fireworks can be dangerous and deadly, a fact that many people don’t seem to take seriously when celebrating Independence Day.

Capt. Tim Sell is a paramedic with Pasadena’s Fire Department. Even though all fireworks are illegal in the city, they still roll out on calls from people who don’t realize how dangerous fireworks can be.

“People have had some extensive burns to their hands and face as well as loss of digits and limbs,” Sell said. “A sparkler can reach up to 2,000 degrees.”

Last year, 11 people died using fireworks, and 11,900 people were hurt, the most in 15 years, according to a report released Thursday by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

New York Giants star Jason Pierre-Paul is now the famous face spreading the message of fireworks dangers. He mangled his right hand relighting a firework.

Dr. Michael Lewis said he has seen a lot of people come into his urgent care after too much July 4 drinking. “When you’re out in the sun and you’re drinking a lot of beer, you can get dehydrated. You’re going to be more at risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke.”

Another big reason people end up in the hospital on July 4 is near-drownings in pools and beaches, simply because people aren’t paying attention. Also, sunburns from too much exposure to the sun without protection.

“Even food poisoning from not preparing your meals properly. Burns from grill are a really big one. Just exercise common sense,” Lewis advised.

And then, there’s the injury that has nothing to do with fireworks, but it is just as explosive and dangerous. “Don’t shoot the gun in the air because that bullet will find its way down and cause injury if not death,” the doctor warned.

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