Letters to the Editor

Consider fire risk this holiday

Vashon enjoyed its third year of injury-free fireworks usage last year; however, there was a fire on July 4. Initially it was thought that a sky lantern had ignited the house, but an investigation revealed that the cause was a spark from yard work activities.

Even if you don’t use fireworks, it is a good idea to prepare for fireworks season and reduce the chance of fire. Fire prevention starts with mowing down any tall grass. Before discharge begins, it is a great idea to water it as well. Fireworks season or not, keeping combustible materials such as shrubs and wood piles away from structures is a great preventive step. In the fire last year, a spark caused a wood pile next to a house to smolder for hours before it rapidly combusted and started the house on fire.

If you are going to be using fireworks, choose legal fireworks from a state-licensed stand. Statically, illegal products cause almost all of the serious fireworks-related incidents in our state.

If you choose to use fireworks, always keep a charged hose and a bucket of water nearby. Avoid dry areas and places where product could end up in trees. Talk to your fireworks dealer to find out how high and wide your fireworks will go so you can be prepared.

If you use a sky lantern, keep in mind that they go sideways even in a gentle breeze. Sky lanterns should only be used at high altitudes and in a wide open space away from trees. Do not use one if it is windy.

Be considerate: Discharge is only allowed on July 4. It’s always a good idea to talk to your neighbors about what you are planning so they can be prepared. If your neighbors or their animals are sensitive to noise, please consider quiet fireworks or an alternate discharge location.

— Gabriel Felix of Vashon Fireworks Co. and Assistant Chief George Brown of VIFR

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