Our Opinion: Keep safety, respect in mind this Fourth of July

Published 9:36 am Saturday, June 25, 2022

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By now, you’ve seen fireworks tents popping up around town and have maybe even started to hear them.

Fireworks are inevitably a part of community celebrations this time of year. They are a bright and fun way to enjoy summer and be part of the festivities.

However, we are again using this space to once again remind people to practice safety and respect.

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On their website, the Consumer Product Safety Commission urges people to follow these safety tips when using fireworks.

• Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

• Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.

• Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.

• Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

• Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.

• Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.

• Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.

• Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

• After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

• Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Aside from safety, we also urge you to be respectful of your neighbors and to be mindful of pets and animals.

While you may enjoy fireworks, your neighbors may not share your enthusiasm — especially if the fireworks are going off late at night when people are trying to sleep.

It’s also important to remember our veterans, some of whom are living with very real memories of conflict that can be triggered by the large explosions.

And finally, please remember that this time of year can be especially difficult for animals who are easily frightened of the loud bangs and flashing lights.  If you are so inclined, instead of fireworks at home, perhaps contemplate using the money to donate food or other items to your local humane society or animal shelter and leave the light show to the professionals.

We hope you enjoy these next couple weeks and the summer properly, but please do so in a way that keeps your friends and neighbors in mind.