Friday, June 26, 2009

Local Agencies Urge July 4th Safety, Warn Against Illegal Fireworks

Local government agencies are urging residents to follow basic rules for safe handling of fireworks as they celebrate the 4th of July and are warning against use of illegal fireworks. The agencies also are reminding citizens to be especially mindful of traffic and pet safety.

The City of Elk Grove is one of 272 communities throughout California that allow sale and use of handheld or ground-based fireworks that have been tested and approved by the State of California as ``Safe and Sane.’’

California law defines illegal fireworks as sky rockets, bottle rockets, roman candles and aerial shells. Last year, the state adopted stricter statutes against transportation, sale, possession and use of dangerous fireworks due to an influx of illegal fireworks into California over the past decade.

The Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD), Elk Grove Police Department, and City of Elk Grove, are part of statewide and regional coalitions formed to educate and enforce safety laws on fireworks. The patrols are dedicated to identifying, then citing or arresting individuals using or selling illegal fireworks.

``The CSD Fire Department and City Police will be out in force on patrol during the July 4th holiday weekend looking for illegal fireworks usage,’’ said CSD Fire Marshal George Apple.

The CSD, City of Elk Grove and Police Department are reminding residents to only light legal fireworks outdoors in a clear area, away from anything that may catch fire and to keep water handy. Fire officials say foreclosed homes with dry, overgrown yards in some communities in the state are increasing fire danger this year.

Local agencies also are reminding adults that children and fireworks can be a dangerous mix. Don’t let kids play with fireworks. Responsible adults should provide active supervision for every child present during fireworks activities. Fireworks, including sparklers and flares, can cause serious burns, as well as blast injuries, that can permanently impair vision and hearing. Teach your children what to do if their clothing catches on fire — “stop, drop and roll.”

When attending firework displays and special events, or passing through residential neighborhoods, remember to drive carefully and watch out for children. Do not leave your pet outside unattended while you’re enjoying the fireworks. In their fear, they could escape or get tangled in a chain.

Safety Tips

Enjoy a fun and safe festive national holiday – avoiding trouble and tragedy -- with these safety tips:

Fireworks:

If you witness a crime in progress involving illegal fireworks, call your local authorities by dialing 9-1-1.

Only Safe and Sane fireworks bearing the State Fire Marshal seal are legal in California.

All other fireworks, including altered Safe and Sane fireworks and those that explode or leave the ground, are illegal.

Never light fireworks in bottles or cans; never cut or take fireworks apart; never add ingredients to fireworks; never make pipe bombs.

Never attempt to re-light, alter, or fix any “dud” firework item. Don't relight fireworks that fizzle.

Douse expended fireworks with water, soak leftover items and discard while wet.

Light one firework at a time, then move away to a safe distance. Never carry fireworks in your pockets.

Only light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from anything that may catch fire and have a hose connected to water ready in case of fire.

Traffic Safety:

When attending firework displays and special events, remember to obey all traffic lanes and signals, and avoid cutting directly across parking lots. When leaving, pay attention while backing out of your parking space to avoid hitting other vehicles or pedestrians.

While driving through residential neighborhoods, be mindful of children who may have stepped out into the roadway to watch or engage in the lighting of fireworks.

Pet Safety:

Do not leave your pet outside unattended while you’re enjoying the fireworks. In their fear, they could escape or get tangled in a chain.

Do not take your pet to fireworks displays – if you think fireworks are loud to you, it’s three times as loud for your pet.

Keep your pets inside, in a sheltered, quiet area. If you leave them at home, keep a radio or TV at normal volume to keep them company.

Get your pet micro-chipped, and make sure they’re wearing identification tags so if they do become lost, they can be easily returned.

If you know your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult a Veterinarian for ways to alleviate the fear and anxiety.

Do not leave your pet in the car. It only takes a few minutes for a pet to suffer serious injury or even death.

1 comment:

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