Our View: The Fourth of July — Make it fun and safeThe Fourth of July — Independence Day — is fast approaching. With it comes an annual rite of summer — an influx of fireworks detonations in and around the community.
The Fourth of July — Independence Day — is fast approaching. With it comes an annual rite of summer — an influx of fireworks detonations in and around the community.
The loosening of fireworks restrictions in Minnesota several years ago has helped many to re-experience how they observed the holiday as children.
However, that doesn’t mean any and all kinds of fireworks are actually legal in our fair state.
From now until July 4, chances are you will hear the familiar pops of firecrackers, smell the heady aroma of spent gunpowder and see rockets’ red glare on a steady basis.
Some of the pyrotechnics you’ll notice almost certainly will be of the illegal variety. The temptation to travel to adjoining states to make illicit fireworks purchases is too strong for some.
The most important thing to remember, no matter what kind of fireworks you plan to use, legal or otherwise, is that it only takes an instant for a tragedy to occur.
Please read and heed fireworks warning labels.
While most fireworks may not be on par with dynamite sticks, they are, nevertheless, explosives.
Just because you’ve shot off a lot of fireworks in the past without a physical injury or property-damaging incident doesn’t qualify you as a bomb squad-type, expertly trained to deal with explosives. You’ve just been lucky so far.
A Woodbury Fire Department fact sheet offers safety tips people should remember if they opt to celebrate the holiday with a bang or two:
• Explain the danger of explosives to children at an early age and teach them to find an adult if they find fireworks. Young people suffer the majority of fireworks-related injuries.
• Don’t give children sparklers, as they can reach temperatures as high as 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.
• If you use lighters, buy ones with a child-resistant feature.
• Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.
• Never leave young children alone with an open flame.
• Teach older children to use fireworks responsibly.
• Pets and fireworks don’t mix. Take care to protect four-legged friends who may be situated in proximity to areas where fireworks are in use.
We suggest an alternative to personal fireworks use this holiday weekend: Let someone else set them off.
There are a number of community Fourth of July celebrations in our area that will feature fireworks displays conducted by professionals or other well-trained personnel.
We realize, however, that most fireworks aficionados will still prefer to stage fiery displays in their own neighborhoods. Hopefully, they’ll have plenty of water and common sense at the ready.
Using fireworks in a safe manner can help celebrate our nation’s independence and enhance nostalgia for the holiday.
Using them negligently could leave a lasting memory or quality of life no one should have to bear.
Your friends at the Woodbury Bulletin wish you a happy — and safe — Fourth of July.