From the desk of Sheriff Prummell-
Summer is here, and nothing symbolizes summer like celebrating our nation’s independence. As we head into another Independence Day weekend, I want to remind you to please be safe in whatever you do. The 4th of July is a time to celebrate our freedoms and the birth of this beautiful nation, but that celebration can be cut short without the proper precautions. Please enjoy the holiday responsibly.
Fireworks can be fun and enjoyable when used carefully and under proper adult supervision. At the same time, they can have devastating effects if used carelessly or irresponsibly. If you are going to use fireworks at or near your home, please adhere to these safety tips:
- Familiarize yourself with the printed instructions of each style of firework you purchase, and carefully follow those guidelines
- Make sure you have a designated “launch area” that is a safe distance from people, homes, and vehicles – at least 150 ft of clearance is recommended
- Only 1 person, a responsible adult, should be permitted in the launch area. Children should NEVER be near fireworks
- Never hold a lit firework in your hands
- Keep unlit fireworks away from the lighting area to avoid accidental lighting
- Do not light fireworks on dry grass or brush, as these will easily burn and the fire will spread
- Have a 911-enabled phone readily available in the event of an emergency
- Never consume alcohol or use drugs when lighting/using fireworks – have a designated lighter who remains sober
I also want to ask for a little bit of consideration for those around you. I encourage you to give your neighbors a heads-up early if you intend to engage in launching fireworks. The loud noises from fireworks may scare pets and can be particularly hard on veterans who have seen combat. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious disorder and not one to be taken lightly or overlooked. The sound of fireworks can be deeply disturbing and upsetting to those with PTSD. Please remember that without these men and women, we would not have a holiday to celebrate.
I do hope you enjoy the day with your family and friends, and take the time to reflect on its meaning. We are fortunate to be able to celebrate this year together, so let’s keep our focus on doing so safely.
Happy 4th of July, Charlotte County.