The 4th of July always brings lots of fireworks and festivities to San Luis Obispo County from residents celebrating America’s independence. However, it is important that SLO County residents are aware of the safety concerns that fireworks present, especially in light of the severe drought our state is experiencing. Five Cities Fire Authority Fire Chief Stephen Lieberman gives some tips on how to help stay safe on Independence Day.
Not every community on the Central Coast allows the use of “safe and sane” fireworks, so folks should check with their local fire department before purchasing and using these products that have the stamp of the State Fire Marshall on them. As we all know, California is challenged with severe drought conditions, and we all need to be extra aware of the dry vegetation. Many Central Coast residents have allowed their lawns to “brown,” and this adds another combustible fuel source for us all to be aware of.
Listed below are some safety tips:
Pay close attention when children are present during the display of fireworks, keeping all guests at least 15 feet away from the fireworks display.
A large bucket of water, sand or a garden hose should be ready at the firing start.
Anything that flies into the air, darts across the ground or explodes is illegal. Items such as M-80s, M-10s, Cherry Bombs, Firecrackers, and Bottle Rockets are not fireworks, they are banned explosives.
Select a firing site free of overhead wires, obstacles such as trees or branches and away from houses. Again, be mindful of current drought conditions and browned lawns (they are combustible).
Wear cotton clothing and do not wear nylon, loose clothing or materials that burn quickly when setting off fireworks.
Burns caused by fireworks can be more serious than they first appear. If you are concerned, check with your family physician.
Remember that fireworks are made from explosives, and that they are unpredictable.