4th of July

Week 26

Fireworks during the Fourth of July are as American as apple pie, but did you know that more fires are reported, and more pets go missing on that day than any other day of the year? The good news is you can enjoy your holiday, and the fireworks, with just a few simple safety tips.

Probably the best tip is to leave fireworks to the professionals. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals. The City of Orofino has activities, food, music, and a wonderful professional fireworks show at the city park. The City of Weippe allows you to use the city park to enjoy your fireworks with everyone. The City of Elk River waits until Saturday the 6 to put on a professional fireworks show over the airstrip.

If you buy your own fireworks you should only use “safe and sane.” Safe and sane fireworks are non-aerial fireworks that remain near the ground and do not travel outside a 20-foot diameter. Safe and sane fireworks include cone fountains, sparklers, wheels, and whistles.

Other fireworks, typically aerial ones, are illegal to shoot off in Idaho. Aerial fireworks present a huge risk for causing fires. While these kinds of fireworks may be purchased legally, Idaho law makes their use illegal. Illegal fireworks include bottle rockets, sky rockets, roman candles, firecrackers, missiles, parachutes, sky flyers, display shells, and aerial items.

It is also good to know that possessing and/or using fireworks on federal public lands (Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / Dworshak Reservoir) is strictly prohibited.

Make sure the fireworks you buy are legal before using them. Here are some tips when using legal fireworks:

Always read the directions and have an adult present. Use fireworks outdoors in a gravel or asphalt area and away from dry vegetation, cars, buildings, or other flammable materials. Only light one at a time, and keep a safe distance. Don’t point or throw fireworks at another person. Have a bucket of water and a hose handy. Never attempt to re-light or “fix” fireworks, and don’t carry fireworks in your pockets.

Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over; they may still be hot and active. Dispose of all fireworks or remains of fireworks by soaking them in water. Hot metal wire from sparklers has seriously burned many small children. The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns.

First aid for minor burns

1) Place the burn in cool water for three to five minutes. 2) Apply topical anesthetic burn spray.

3) Cover the burn with a clean, dry cloth.

4) Provide acetaminophen or aspirin as needed for pain.

5) See your doctor if the burn is larger than your palm.

First aid for serious burns

1) Ask someone to call 911. 2) Immerse affected areas in clean, cold water for up to five minutes.

3) Apply a burn gel.

4) Wrap the wound in gauze or clean towels.

5) Keep burned area elevated until medical attention arrives.

Let’s not forget our pets.

More pets run away on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year. The Fourth of July is a scary time for our furry friends. The high-pitched squeals, thundering booms, and bright flashing lights of the fireworks can send even the bravest dog running. On the Fourth, pets need their owner’s help and reassurance to keep them safe and at ease.

Make sure your pet has a collar and ID tag in case they run away. Provide a safe place for them to retreat, like their crate or bed, and check on them every few hours. Keep your pets indoors, lower blinds, and close the windows so they won’t be frightened by the noise and bright lights. Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display.

On our Nation’s Independence Day, let’s remember our history and the sacrifice given to build this free county. We are the land of the free; we are the home of the brave. Happy 4th of July.

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