Red, white, and BOOM
By Kennedy Williams
When you think of the 4th of July, what’s one of the first things that pops into your head? Red, white, and blue; parades; cookouts; and what’s that other thing? Oh yeah, fireworks! As the 4th of July approaches, you may see people getting into the patriotic spirit, and everyone celebrates differently. If you plan on using any fireworks this season, you should remember how you can use them safely but still have fun.
The only fireworks that are legal in the state of Iowa are sparklers, snakes, and caps. These forms of fireworks are legal because they are the least hazardous, but that does not mean that there are not safety procedures to follow. Chief firefighter Kevin Cannon tells the Voice of Muscatine how you can avoid injuries this season by using fireworks the correct way.
1. Use good judgment on the age at which your children use sparklers. Although sparklers are mesmerizing to young eyes, this does not mean that they are old enough to be using them. Sparklers can reach up to 1200 degrees and you should always supervise your children when using sparklers.
2. Keep a water bucket nearby. Even when the sparkler is burnt out, the metal stick at the end can still burn you, so have a water bucket ready to put the burnt out sticks in when you are finished.
3. Wear non-flammable clothing. When using fireworks, be cautious not to let the tip of the lit sparkler make contact with your skin or clothing.
In Iowa, the use of illegal fireworks will result in a $100 fine, but we may not have to worry about the penalty of using illegal fireworks for long. A bill has been raised to get fireworks legalized in Iowa, which could raise more safety hazards for consumers.
“Legalizing fireworks would be bad when you look at the safety side of things because there will be way too many accidents,” says Chief firefighter Kevin Cannon. “When you’re using fireworks, just use common sense, and of course keep them out of the reach of young children,”
Be smart this 4th of July and celebrate safely. Use common sense and enjoy the great festivities that Muscatine has to offer.