Hope that all is going in your world, as the warmer weather starts and we are still trying to figure out how to live with COVID-19 in our midst. We are coming up on a very special time of year where we celebrate Independence Day.

Of course, the 4th of July is of particular interest to the fire department, since there will be explosions and sparks flying in the night sky. Although this is a celebration, there are safety concerns that need to be addressed in order to eliminate injuries or fire related issues.

Only 1.4 G consumer grade fireworks are allowed within the city limits of West Fargo on July 4 from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.. Much of fire safety with fireworks is common sense, such as:

  • Always have a source of extinguishment, hose, fire extinguisher, etc.;
  • Never put used fireworks in a plastic container or next to anything that can burn;
  • Always soak fireworks overnight in a water filled container;
  • Be considerate of veterans and animals (consider when, what kind and where you are lighting fireworks).

These warnings and reminders are made each year for a reason, we do have fires during the fireworks season. We have had house and garage fires from the use of fireworks not to mention medical calls with people being injured, they are dangerous if not used properly.

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A few statistics regarding injuries may help you realize why fire is not the issue we have with fireworks.

Sparklers account for roughly one-quarter of emergency room firework injuries. Children ages 10-14, have the highest rate of fireworks injury, with more than one-third or the victims under the age of 15.

Of the injuries that come into the emergency room half of them deal with the extremities, hands, fingers, feet or legs. Approximately one third of injuries are to the eyes or other parts of the head.

I doubt that anyone wants to spend their Fourth of July sitting in the emergency room.

Some more rules for fireworks are covered in West Fargo City Ordinance, any individual that is 12 years of age may use, explode or possess any retail firework. This ordinance does not mean that an adult shouldn’t be monitoring the child, it merely states that the can use them. No person shall ignite,

discharge or use fireworks on publicly owned or controlled property including but not limited to, park property, city or county property, school property or federally owned property without prior written authorization from the governing board or authorized representative of the public entity, which owns or controls the property. And there are ordinances that cover specific types of fireworks: the use of sky lanterns are illegal and all other fireworks shall be limited to a 1.4G firework rating.

Please enjoy the warmer weather and we hope you have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.