From Newport Police Chief Mark Miranda
As the Fourth of July quickly approaches, most of us are wrapped up with thinking about barbeques, parades, block parties, gatherings with loved ones, and, obviously, fireworks! Who can say “no” to the loud flashes of brilliant color lighting up the night sky?
But along with these beautiful displays comes potential danger. If not used properly, fireworks can be dangerous, especially when fire conditions are extreme. As severe nationwide drought continues to plague many parts of the U.S. with the increasing threat of wildfires, it is important to celebrate the Fourth of July in the safest way possible.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, during the month of the July 4th holiday, an average of more than 200 people visit a hospital emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries. Fireworks are dangerous!
This Independence Day, protect your family from fireworks. Attend public displays and leave the lighting to the professionals. Additionally, don’t forget that Independence Day occurs during the hottest time of year, so make sure you stay hydrated and keep out of the sun during times when the heat is most intense!
The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers these common sense safety tips for using consumer fireworks. Hopefully injuries to consumers can be greatly reduced this season. It is up to you to use fireworks in a safe and responsible manner:
** Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.
** Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
** Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
** Always have water ready if you are using fireworks.
** Know your fireworks; read the caution label before igniting.
** Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
** Only light one firework at a time.
** Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes, and then soak it in a bucket of water.
** Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives.
** Lastly, soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor, fire resistant trash can away from buildings and other flammable materials.