Friday, June 28, 2013

This Fourth of July, Celebrate 'Merica the Safe Way

Posted By on June 28, 2013, 2:00 PM

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With the Fourth of July and our beloved Pioneer Day coming up, fireworks will soon light up the horizon. While fireworks scream patriotism, unfortunately, they also scream potential wildfires and burn injuries. To keep it safe and legal, but still a good time, we've complied a list of handy safety tips, and when and where it's legit to blow stuff up. ---

Since the Salt Lake valley's wildlands are about ready to inflame with a single spark, the Salt Lake City Fire Department has designated fireworks-restriction zones. Before you bust out the fireworks, check to see if you live in one of the restricted areas. "No-fun" zones include: areas east of Foothill Drive, and east of 1300 East to 500 South, so that includes the University of Utah; all areas north of South Temple to State Street, and North Temple to 200 West, so that includes Capitol Hill and Avenues residents; City Creek Canyon is restricted, as are all areas west of 1-215 and north of Highway 201. If you’re still not sure, check out the SLCFD’s interactive map of restricted-fireworks areas.

Click on the map below to view the SLCFD's restricted zones:

However, if you live outside of the red zone, you still gotta play it cool. Jasen Asay, spokesperson for the SLCFD, recommended these tips:

-Only light fireworks July 1-7 and July 21-27. Discharge times are between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m., except on July 4th and 24th, when they are allowed until midnight.

-Keep a 30-foot-clearance area in all directions from the base of the device. Check above your head, too;  think trees, awnings, telephone wires, etc. Also, don't be the guy that lights one inside.

-Supervise kids and drunk adults. Even if kids are just playing with sparklers, the metal wires can remain hot and cause burns. Ouch.

-Don't bother re-iginting a firework. If it's malfunctioning, it's best to leave it alone.

-Brace all aerial cakes with noncombustible weight items to avoid tipping. Cinder blocks or large rocks are a great option.

-Once you’re done blowing everything up, dump used fireworks in a bucket of water before putting them in a garbage can.

"We understand that it’s a tradition to have fireworks on the 4th and the 24th, but we urge people to take precautions, and follow the restrictions that are in place," says Asay. " We just want to keep everyone safe."

According to Asay, every year the SLCFD receives some calls regarding fireworks incidents. Most calls involve residents in restricted areas concerned about neighbors lighting fireworks. Other calls are about small fires starting because people weren’t prepared.

So long as you follow the tips mentioned, you and your pals shouldn't have to make any calls to the SLCFD. Which is nice for you and them.

If you do live in a restricted area, or don't want to risk injury, no need to worry. There are plenty of festivals to go to and shows to see. There's the Sugar House Fireworks Event, the Sandy 4th Celebration, and fireworks following the Bee's game. You can also head to Park City and join in on the 4th of July Parade and Celebration.

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