On Fourth of July in Summit County, leave fireworks to the experts
Leave fireworks to the experts
As Fourth of July and the annual excitement of the Independence holiday arrives, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and the area’s three fire departments are reminding residents and visitors to leave the fireworks to the experts.
Wildfire danger within the region is creeping back up to the upper levels as summer progresses, making the threat of firecrackers all the more hazardous in the High Country. More than that, any fireworks that fly or explode are illegal. Individuals caught shooting off unauthorized objects can be subjected to a ticket or fines of up to $750 and as much as six months in jail.
“Summit County law-enforcement agencies will be responding quickly to all fireworks calls,” interim Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said in a news release. “We ask our community members and visitors to please use only legal fireworks and to use them responsibly. We want everyone to enjoy a safe and happy July Fourth weekend.”
Fireworks start more than 30,000 fires annually, according to the National Fire Protection Administration. On top of that, more than 9,000 people arrive in the hospital emergency rooms as a result of fireworks-related accidents — many with severe injuries.
Although some fireworks such as sparklers are sold in area stores and permissible for use by private citizens on their property, they can still burn at 1,200 degrees and should be used only under the strict supervision of adults.
“The rule of thumb is if it explodes or flies, it is illegal,” said Steve Lipsher, public information officer for Lake Fire Dillon-Fire. “Sparklers are OK, but we do discourage them. But nothing that goes boom or pops up in the air.”
A number of free fireworks displays will be held throughout Summit County around the holiday, and instead of breaking the law, the public is invited to join in:
“By leaving fireworks shows to the professionals, the risk of injuries and unintended fires is virtually eliminated,” Lake Dillon Fire chief Jeff Berino, said in the release. “Working together, our communities will remain safer for all during this Independence Day celebration.”
For more information regarding fireworks and general safety, please contract Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue at (970) 262-5100.
— Kevin Fixler
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