Our view: Enjoy a safe 4th of July
Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, a time to celebrate our great country’s independence.
In McHenry County, across Illinois and the entire U.S., Americans will commemorate the anniversary of our independence with picnics, barbecues, ball games, swimming and, of course, fireworks.
Some area communities held their sanctioned fireworks shows this past weekend. But there are plenty of other options around McHenry County.
McHenry will host a fireworks display at dusk tonight at Petersen Park. Cary canceled its fireworks display scheduled for tonight because of the extremely dry weather conditions.
At dusk Wednesday, Huntley, Spring Grove, Wonder Lake and Woodstock will host sanctioned fireworks displays.
And on Saturday, Fox Lake and Fox River Grove will hold their fireworks shows. A complete calendar can be found page B2 today or online at http://shawurl.com/fireworks.
Attending a community-sponsored display is the best – and the safest – way to enjoy fireworks. They are put on by professionals, and area fire departments are on standby in case there are any issues.
Of course, many residents will put on their own, smaller fireworks displays, likely in your neighborhood. Keep in mind that in Illinois, most fireworks are – except for sparklers, snakes and other novelty items.
But that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of illegal commercial fireworks being set off around the county, things such as firecrackers, bottle rockets, and other mini-explosives.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that a significantly higher number of people suffered serious injuries as a result of using fireworks in 2011 than in 2010.
In 2011, about 9,600 individuals were injured – and four killed – using fireworks compared with 8,800 injuries and three deaths in 2010.
As evidenced by Cary’s decision to cancel, dry conditions in 2012 make the use of illegal fireworks that much more dangerous – the possibility of setting dry brush or grass on fire is that much greater.
Have a good time this Fourth of July, but be safe. Here are some tips from the CPSC:
The CPSC offers these tips to individuals who plan to use fireworks this holiday season:
• Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks;
• Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them;
• Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging, as this often can be a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers;
• Adults always should supervise fireworks activities. Parents often don’t realize that there are many injuries from sparklers to children under 5. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals;
• Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move back to a safe distance immediately after lighting;
• Never try to relight or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned;
• Never point or throw fireworks at another person;
• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap;
• Light one item at a time.