Stay safe this holiday
Editor of the Reformer:
Every year, safety is our first priority as families begin to plan their Fourth of July festivities. Fireworks are synonymous with our celebration of Independence Day. While fireworks are the most iconic and festive way to celebrate our country's independence, there can be dangers if fireworks are used improperly.
Fireworks are dangerous and unpredictable, especially in the hands of amateurs. Statistics show that approximately 20,000 fires, 10,500 injuries and four deaths occur annually from fireworks. On average 230 people go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday, with more than half of the fireworks related injuries being burns.
In Vermont all fireworks except for sparklers less than 14 inches long with no more than 20 grams of pyrotechnic mixture and novelty sparkling items limited to snakes, party poppers, glow worms, smoke devices, string poppers, snappers, or drop pops with no more than 0.25 grains of explosive mixture are illegal except for permitted, supervised public fireworks displays. However, even sparklers and smoke devices can be harmful if not used properly always make sure that everyone uses sparklers in a safe and responsible manner
Public fireworks displays conducted by trained professionals and supervised by local fire departments are the smartest and safest way to enjoy fireworks. Be smart and be safe.
Michael Bucossi, Chief Brattleboro Fire Department, June 30