BY RECORD STAFF
Independence Day, in all its bombs-a-bursting glory, is coming soon.
With the sparklers, ground blooms and mortars comes the inherent risk of fire and injury, and South Whidbey Fire/EMS wants South Whidbey residents to know some general directions to stay safe.
In the fire protection district, Fire Chief Rusty Palmer informed residents about the 6,300 fireworks-related injuries during July 4 celebrations nationwide last year.
The South Whidbey Fire/EMS newsletter said, “Most of the injuries were burns and lacerations to the hands, face and head. About 40 percent of the injuries were related to firecrackers, bottle rockets and sparklers.”
Here are the South Whidbey Fire/EMS safety tips:
Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign the fireworks were made for professional displays and they could pose a danger to consumers.
Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees — hot enough to melt some metals.
Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
Never try to relight or pick up fireworks that have not fully ignited.
Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
After fireworks finish burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it, to prevent a trash fire.
Fireworks may be discharged in Island County from noon to 11 p.m. June 28, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. June 29 to July 3, 9 a.m. to midnight July 4 and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 5.
There are discharge restrictions in Langley, where fireworks may only be set off from 9 a.m. to midnight, July 4.
Some fireworks are illegal in Washington without a license or permit. Examples of legal fireworks include sparklers, cone fountains, ground spinners, Roman candles and mortars up to 1 ¾ inches.
Illegal fireworks include a sky rocket, firecracker, salutes, M-80, M-150, tennis ball bombs and other homemade and altered fireworks.