My Turn: Be fire safe during Fourth of July holiday |

My Turn: Be fire safe during Fourth of July holiday

The North Tahoe Fire Protection District would like to remind everyone to and#8220;Be Fire Safeand#8221; this Fourth of July holiday week. All consumer fireworks (including Safe and Sane fireworks) are prohibited in Placer County at Lake Tahoe. Anyone caught with fireworks in their possession can be cited or arrested. The use of consumer fireworks can lead to devastating burns, other injuries, fires and even death. Not only are safety precautions a concern, the cost of suppression and any other liability caused by fireworks is the direct responsibility of those persons caught with fireworks in their possession. Parents, please remember you are responsible for your children’s actions.

On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks cause more outdoor fires in the United States than all other causes of outdoor fire combined. This emphasizes the fact that consumer fireworks are dangerous, especially with children and young adults present. National Fire Protection Association also states that pre-teens and teenagers face the highest risk of fireworks injuries. In 2005, one third of the people injured by fireworks were under the age of 15. The risk of fireworks injury was two and one half times as high for children ages 10-14 as for the general population. Sparklers, fountains and novelties alone account for more than a fourth of emergency room fireworks injuries.

Please teach children that fireworks are not toys. Explain the dangers and ask your children to tell an adult if they find fireworks or another child playing with them unsupervised.

Remember the following guidelines to keep your Fourth of July holiday a safe one:

and#8226; Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach.

and#8226; Never leave young children alone with an open flame.

and#8226; Teach older children to use fire responsibly.

and#8226; If you suspect your child is setting fires, get help immediately.

Use extra caution this Fourth of July holiday. Please extinguish cigarettes in proper designated receptacles and leave the fireworks to the professionals.

Free public fireworks displays can be viewed on July 3 in Kings Beach at the North Tahoe Event Center and on July 4 in Tahoe City at Commons Beach. Both shows start at dusk (9:30 p.m.).

and#8212; Duane Whitelaw is chief of the North Tahoe Fire Protection District.

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