Enjoy, obey and be safe

Published Jul 3, 2018 at 4:00pm

During the July Fourth holiday, we Americans will spend about $1.09 billion on fireworks to celebrate our independence. It is a yearly ritual to shoot off fireworks, attend firework displays and try to make noise while having loads of fun.

The fun can quickly be dampened, even turned to horror if someone is hurt, you start a fire or find yourself ticketed for violating the law.

Fireworks can be a lot of fun, but be careful.

There are some simple, important tips to follow, according to the National Council on Fireworks Safety Inc.

First tip, obey the laws of your community.

The window during which Oneida County residents can legally purchase small fireworks will close on July 5. Lt. James P. Boyer said his officers will respond to any complaints of fireworks. He warned of severe accidents that occur every year around the country when unqualified people use fireworks.

“We certainly hope that doesn’t occur in our community,” Boyer stated. “Police will respond to complaints about fireworks and we will enforce state law and our local ordinances.”

The law allows anyone over the age of 18 to buy and use sparklers and sparkling devices, but not the larger fireworks that leave the ground and explode.

Know your fireworks by reading the instructions before lighting the fuse. Also, alcohol and fireworks are a very bad combination, so wait to enjoy a cold one until after the last firework goes off.

Make sure there is a responsible adult around when fireworks are being used. Do not give fireworks to your kids and turn them loose on their own.

It seems obvious, but always use fireworks outside, light one at a time and never try to relight a dud. Wear safety glasses and always have a bucket of water or a water hose nearby.

Be careful around your pets. Never shoot fireworks at animals of any kind and keep pets away from firework shows. Many dogs are scared of the noise created by fireworks.

We will watch over 24.6 million pounds of fireworks, which will cost over $340 million, go off at community displays across the county, according to a 2016 USA Today story. Individual consumers will fire off 260.7 million pounds of fireworks, which will cost Americans around $755 million.

But that is not all the costs racked up this time of year. Independence Day is a huge picnicking day. According to the National Retail Federation, 64.5 percent of us will attend a Fourth of July picnic.

The Fourth also happens to be National Hot Dog Day, according to USA Today. So besides firing off tons of fireworks, we will also consume tons of hot dogs — about 155 million hot dogs.

One other thing that is very important: when you are done eating your hot dogs and shooting off all your fireworks, clean up your mess. Pick up and throw away all that left in the street after your last firework explodes.

Make sure to also remember the reason you are celebrating — America’s, your, independence.