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JUNE 30, 1997

Opinion

Editorials

Celebrate the 4th in our local communities

4th of July The 4th of July will be celebrated in Bothell, Woodinville, and Carnation with a choice of major events: parades, entertainment, the reenactments of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, fireworks, and many other fun-filled activities. Long hours of volunteer support, local government and business contributions, and community collaborations have all gone into making these events possible. Join your community, take your families, and enjoy the activities. Your attendance at local community events will be greatly appreciated by those who worked so hard to provide them.

Safe fireworks

   Local fire officials urge residents to attend fireworks displays put on by trained professionals. Statistics from a report by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show that fireworks (objects designed to burn and explode) annually cause tens of millions of dollars in property damage and thousands of injuries, as well as some deaths. Injuries from the intense heat of fireworks, typically harming the eyes, head, hands, arms, or legs, can cause blindness, lacerations, amputations, and burns. Some burns leave lifetime, disfiguring scars.
   Children are at greatest risk from fireworks, whether as spectators or active participants. "As parents and adults, we have a responsibility to protect our children. While most parents work year round to keep their children safe, if they shoot fireworks off in their backyards once a year, they are placing their children at substantial risk," says Bothell Fire Chief Marcus Kragness. "Even sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees F., pose a serious danger in a child's hand, or anyone's, for that matter."
   With the Fourth of July less than a week away, fire safety officials and emergency rooms must prepare for the injuries that typically accompany fireworks celebrations. The safest way to spend the fourth of July is to attend a public fireworks show. However, those planning on buying fireworks and discharging them at home should follow these tips offered by the local Fire Departments to ensure a safer show:

Fourth of July Traffic

   Local residents need to remember that there will be road closures due to the public display of fireworks. In Woodinville, cars will be towed from the shoulders within a wide radius of the display. Use the free Metro shuttle provided from the Woodinville Park & Ride and NE 175th bus stops. Traffic volume over the Fourth of July weekend, combined with road construction projects, tends to make this holiday period one of the most dangerous of the year for the driving public.