Ways To Be More Neighborly and Safe This 4th of July
With fireworks stands now open for business and everyone finalizing plans to celebrate Independence Day next week, it’s a great time to revisit ways we can all be more neighborly and safe this 4th of July.
First, let me say I enjoy watching fireworks and even worked in a firework stand a few summers as a teen. It was always miserably hot in the tent, but I got to pick out some really cool sets to take home and share with my family on the 4th of July. Today my husband and son go on a mission to get fireworks that we set off with neighbors every year. We even sat in our garage one year waiting for it to stop raining. And when it did, my husband – and just about all our neighbors! – ran out to fire off a few before it started raining again. So clearly we weren’t the only ones determined to enjoy fireworks that year!
But I also like to stay safe and find it pretty frustrating when people are still firing them off late at night days after the holiday has ended. Somehow I think I’m in really good company by saying that, so let’s start with the basics.
City and County Fireworks Ordinances
The City of Bowling Green and Warren County established ordinances on the use of fireworks to help everyone stay safe and respectful to each other while celebrating with fireworks. They also explain how to identify fireworks designed for professional use and/or aren’t legal in our community, which is something I hadn’t even considered and will pay more attention to in the future. And while both ordinances are very similar, they do have some differences.
So if you are planning to celebrate with backyard fireworks this year, I encourage you to visit the following sites or call the numbers listed and make sure you know timelines.
City of Bowling Green
And now that you know where to find the ordinances, please be courteous to your neighbors and follow them. Why? Because your neighbor – believing the holiday’s celebrations are over because the ordinances say they should be – may have small children or pets that may be outside or trying to sleep. Both can be startled and many pets will run out of fear and can become lost. Or perhaps someone has to return to work on July 5th and needs to get some sleep after midnight. Remember! Not everyone gets the 4th of July off to celebrate and most people have to go back to work the next morning.
And in recent years, attention has been given to the need for more consideration of combat veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or “PTSD” as a result of their military service. Military with PTSD reports an estimated 7% to 20% of the more than 2.5 million veterans and troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are believed to have developed PTSD. Those are incredible numbers. So odds are you may have someone living in your community who supports the holiday but has to take special steps to manage symptoms. Either way, I encourage everyone to visit Military with PTSD to learn more about how to be supportive at https://www.militarywithptsd.org/home-six/explosion-of-kindness/.
But generally speaking, it’s not the fireworks that sufferers of PTSD expect that are the problem. It’s the fireworks they don’t expect and can’t plan for that can cause tremendous stress and additional trauma.
For example, some people wear heavy duty headphones and watch a marathon of movies, listen to music, or read. Others may leave the area entirely and go camping away from the crowds and celebrations, etc., until the fireworks are over. Knowing when fireworks are allowed and planning around them can be very, very helpful.
So please be courteous of all your neighbors and stick to the schedule when firing off fireworks in your neighborhood. Your neighbor with young kids, pets or a horrible shift work schedule will appreciate it more than you might ever know!
Check Out Fireworks Shows in Bowling Green
Another option is to attend one of the really pretty firework displays in Bowling Green.
The annual and very popular Thunderfest at the National Corvette Museum will be held on Tuesday, July 3rd this year. Visit www.VisitBgKy.com/event/thunderfest for details and entry fees.
And The Bowling Green Hot Rods 4th of July Spectacular will be held at the stadium. I’ve never been, but I’ve heard it’s really good, too. Visit www.milb.com for details and ticket information.
For more ideas on how to celebrate next week, check out the Things to Do in Bowling Green at https://www.visitbgky.com/.
Be Safe with Backyard Fireworks
Regardless of who or where, here are just a few safety tips to keep in mind with fireworks:
- Never allow young CHILDREN to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- Douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
For more tips visit https://www.cpsc.gov
And don’t forget your pets!
- Put your PETS inside and in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.
- Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewers away from curious pets.
For more tips for pets visit https://www.avma.org
Help Each Other Be Neighborly and Stay Safe This 4th of July!!
Independence Day can be a wonderful summer memory for little and big kids alike. I hope this info has been helpful as you put the final touches on your holiday plans. Please help yourself and share my Be Neighborly & Safe flyer with your family, friends and neighbors.
Fingers crossed the weather cooperates with us – and have fun out there!