Enjoy Fourth of July fireworks safely

Safety precautions, city laws must be followed

When Americans enjoy fireworks on every Fourth of July, they have John Adams to thank for the colorful displays.

Adams, one of the Founding Fathers who became the country’s second president, wrote to his wife, Abigail, when the Declaration of Independence was approved in July 1776 in Philadelphia.

“It ought to be soleminized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more,” Adams wrote.

His reference to “iluminations” is traditionally interpreted as fireworks.

While Adams encouraged the use of fireworks to celebrate, we can be pretty sure that he never intended that anyone would burn their house down or blow their fingers off. So to celebrate safely, some precautions and rules must be followed.

For those who want to have some fireworks at home, some common sense safety precautions are necessary.

First, fireworks should be used only by adults and, perhaps, older teenagers. They should never be used by young children.

It should be obvious that fireworks should only be used outdoors. They should be launched well away from buildings, trees, dry grass and anything else likely to catch fire. Have a couple buckets of water or a garden hose handy.

Adams, who was a lawyer, certainly would want Americans to obey the law while launching their fireworks.

In Fort Dodge, fireworks can be legally used from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. today, Sunday and Monday.

Fireworks cannot be used in streets, alleys or parks.

Sticking to common sense safety precautions and obeying the city law will make the holiday enjoyable for everyone.


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