Our opinion: Fireworks are fun way of celebrating 4th of July, require responsibility

Published 6:32 pm Friday, June 21, 2024

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With the Fourth of July under two weeks away, people will be using fireworks to celebrate America’s independence.

For many, shooting off fireworks has become a tradition as much as traveling to your local town celebration to view the spectacular shows of professionals. We recognize the importance fireworks play in this holiday just like we recognize the responsibility any of us bear when lighting them off ourselves.

According to a report highlighted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2022 there were 11 fireworks-related deaths ages 11-43. Overall, there were 10,200 injuries related to fireworks in 2022 with 73% of those injuries taking place in a one month period around the Fourth of July.

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These numbers alone highlight the need for vigilance when it comes to the handling of fireworks. Safety should always be the first priority when it comes to fireworks so that the night remains fun without the risk of tragedy.

The Department of Homeland Security offers 10 tips for those wanting to take part in their own fireworks display and can be viewed by visiting: https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/news/2022/06/30/10-tips-firework-safety

Many of these are common sense approaches that simply require close observation with simple precautions. It’s certainly not too much to do in order to maintain a night of safe fun.

However, the responsibility goes beyond safety precautions. We also urge you to take into consideration your neighbors, pets and others for whom fireworks can be an annoyance or terrifying experience.

Some of your neighbors may not appreciate fireworks going off at all hours of the night.

Also take into consideration those suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, specifically those related to serving our country in the military. Some of these veterans have come home with scars we can’t see and the explosion of fireworks can be adversely triggering for them as well.

Sure, you might not know exactly who would be suffering from this, but again, pay attention to your surroundings and if you see a neighbor being affected by fireworks, take appropriate steps which could include stopping altogether.

At the same time, your pets or the pets of others can be terrified by the bright lights and loud noises and whistles fireworks create. It can be a traumatic experience for them that could continue to affect them well past the moment of celebration.

We hope you enjoy the Fourth of July and those days of summer surrounding the day, but we also hope you act responsibly to ensure that everybody can enjoy the day.