With the fire danger heightened due to severe water shortages it is more important than ever to comply with the ban on fireworks in Contra Costa County. When I was young, it was still legal to have almost all types of fireworks at home, and it was fun to gather in the yard and watch my father try to create a memorable display for the family. WE ran around with sparkers and set off “snakes” while mom stood by with the hose poised and ready for action.
However, the dangers of this type of celebration have become more evident over the years. Burn units fill up after the fourth of July and just after New Years as well with well-intentioned celebrants that lost control of their explosives. One friend of ours was creating his own fireworks and blew off most of his hand. We hear these types of events every year and still my neighbors feel it’s necessary and safe to have their own celebration in the streets.
This year there are pleas online for people to stop the illegal detonation of fireworks out of respect for Veterans suffering from PTSD and to keep our pets from having anxiety attacks. Despite these requests people still feel it’s their right to celebrate however they please. Last night the celebration had already begun as the firecrackers went off across the street from my house.
My response has been to deep water my yard and hose down my roof. I’m staying home to try to stop any fires from starting in the tinder of my dying plants. My dog will appreciate the company, although her hearing is going and she doesn’t seem to mind the little explosions anymore. She used to cower in the shower, trying to find some safe shelter from the noise.
At times like these I see that our laws don’t deter some people intent on maintaining their traditions. Perhaps it’s creates personal satisfaction, or maybe they still don’t believe that “it” can happen to them. Either way, it is dangerous to try to harness the power of explosives in the confines of a dry, drought plagued suburb or city. Be safe this year and find a sponsored event near your home. They have some amazing fireworks prepared for you.
Have a Happy Fourth of July and remember: It can happen to you or those you love, so practice safety on this holiday and enjoy the rest of the year!
To find an event near you in California:
State list of events by City: http://www.americantowns.com/ca/features/4th-of-july-2014-fireworks-parades
Local Cities in Contra Costa County: http://www.americantowns.com/ca/contracosta-county/news/july-4th-fireworks-schedule-festivities-and-parades-in-contra-costa-county-ca-329870