Don't take a holiday from safety this Fourth of July
- Alice Lasher
- Sandy Post - Opinion
From the Sandy/Boring fire districts
This Fourth of July, help keep your neighborhood and family safe. The Sandy Fire District encourages you to consider attending Sandy's public fireworks display.
Clackamas County Bank is sponsoring this year's community fireworks display at Sandy High School. The fireworks display will start about 10 p.m. Tuesday, July 4. Spectators are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets to the display but are reminded that no fireworks, no alcoholic beverages, no smoking, and no pets will be permitted, by school district rules.
Public fireworks displays are the safest way to enjoy the Fourth of July and a perfect way to model safe behavior for youth.
The Sandy Fire District and Sandy Police Department want to help our community enjoy a safe, injury-free and legal celebration during the holiday. In addition to the safety tips below regarding fireworks safety, please remember to obey other laws as well. Alcohol can negatively affect decision making. Please be responsible this Fourth - don't take a holiday from safety!
BE PREPARED - before lighting fireworks:
• Use legal fireworks, available at licensed outlets.
• Store fireworks out of children's reach.
• Always read and follow label directions.
• Place pets indoors; they are easily frightened by fireworks.
• Always have water handy (a garden hose or a bucket of water).
BE SAFE - when lighting fireworks:
• An adult always should light fireworks. Keep matches and lighters away from children (many youth-involved fires occur in the months after the Fourth). The message of matches and lighters being 'tools,' not 'toys,' can be lost when children are allowed to light their own fireworks. This 'one-da vacation' from safety is not interpreted as a single event but rather as a release from the rules regarding the use of matches and lighters and puts our children at risk.
• Read and follow label directions carefully.
• Use outdoors only; light only one firework at a time, and move away quickly.
• Keep children and pets away from fireworks.
• Always remember, do not throw fireworks or hold in your hand, and never point fireworks at people, pets, cars or buildings.
BE RESPONSIBLE - after lighting fireworks:
• Soak used fireworks thoroughly in a bucket of water.
• Dispose of used fireworks and debris properly.
• Get rid of all unused fireworks or store them in a secure location out of reach of children. Youth often bring leftover fireworks to school in the fall. This often results in disciplinary action from the school district as well as legal action if the fireworks are lit.
• Never re-light 'dud' fireworks (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).
• Talk to your children about the consequences of misusing fireworks and that altering fireworks can result in civil and/or criminal charges.
• Remember - Parents are liable for any damage or injuries caused by their children using fireworks.
If your child or adolescent is showing an interest in fire play, contact your local fire department and take advantage of their free educational programs designed to help keep youth safe from fire injury.
Any fireworks that produce only smoke, sparks or fire and that do not explode, eject balls of fire, fly into the air or travel more than 12 feet on smooth ground.
Any fireworks that explode, fly into the air or behavesin an uncontrolled and unpredictable manner. Including but not limited to: Crazy Jacks/Jumping Jacks, Aerial Spinners, Firecrackers (regular and Lady Fingers), Bottle Rockets, and Roman candles.
For more information regarding fireworks, visit the Oregon state fire marshal's Web site at: http://egov.oregon.gov/OOHS/SFM/Fireworks_2006.shtml.