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Letter to the editor: Practice caution when using fireworks
Fireworks season is upon us once again. The community of Vashon did a great job last year keeping safe during fireworks season, with only one fireworks-related incident. For the last five years Vashon’s fireworks-related incident rate has been very low.
The low incident rates are common where fireworks are thoughtfully regulated by the government. Communities that have banned fireworks typically have much higher fire and injury rates due to the use of illegal products.
Last year’s incident was a small lawn fire. If you are going to be using fireworks on or near a lawn, it is a really good idea to water the yard a couple of hours before you start discharging. If the fire danger is high, it’s a great idea to head to the beach. Half the fun is watching the neighbors show off their product.
Please be thoughtful about where you discharge fireworks, and try to keep them away from animals. As an alternative, quiet fireworks that have all the beauty, but very little noise, are available on Vashon.
Be safe and always supervise your children when using fireworks. Read and understand the directions, and never let children play with fireworks alone.
Watch out for illegal fireworks that are commonly sold by unlicensed stands. Ninety percent of all fireworks injuries are caused by illegal fireworks, which include firecrackers, rockets and 1.3g (professional display) fireworks. If the stand you buy from is licensed by the Washington State Department of Transportation, you can be sure that you are getting legal fireworks.
Be safe and have a happy, beautiful Fourth of July!
— Gabriel Felix of Vashon Fireworks Co. and Vashon Island Fire & Rescue Assistant Chief George Brown