Starting this week, the availability and usage of recreational fireworks will begin to increase as the 4th of July, our nation’s Independence Day, closes in.
I am all for a good fireworks show. Fireworks can and do provide a little something for everyone who enjoys them.
The bright flashes of colored lights and booming noise combine to create an explosive open theater of awe and destruction.
Fireworks are not toys and they should not be treated as such. Ever!
Injuries, death and property damages occur every year and in most cases could have been easily avoided with a few common safety practices.
Members of my immediate family have served as firefighters for several generations.
All of them have witnessed firsthand the life-changing consequences of avoidable fireworks accidents.
These are not the type of situations they ever want to see in their own community.
Keep fireworks away from children. Store the fireworks in a secure location prior to their use.
Keep small children back and safely away from the area where fireworks are going to be set off.
Find a safe location. Have as much control of the environment as you can. Keep them away from buildings, cars and brush that can catch fire.
Keep a water source handy in the event that a fire does occur.
Keep clear of where the fireworks will be set off or land. Read the instructions on the fireworks you purchase or only engage fireworks that have a known behavior pattern to you.
You need to know how far, how high and how long the display will go and clear the area accordingly.
Be respectful of neighbors and pets. A continuous stream of fireworks all hours of the day and night for a week or two prior to the actual holiday will not gain you friends within your neighborhood.
In fact, you may pick up a few extra acquaintances from members of the city police department who will pay you a visit if you are violating established city noise and safety ordinances.
Plan out your fireworks purchases now, before you bring them into your home.
Purchase fireworks that fit your location, situation and audience.
Our family chooses to purchase our fireworks from one of the many stands that sell them as part of their annual fundraising efforts.
Many local organizations rely on the proceeds from these sales to support their community-benefiting activities in the coming year.
Support your community, have fun and most importantly, be safe.
Colleen Smidt is a longtime resident of Bremerton who writes about politics and community issues.