For many families, this July 4th is extra special. For those who are fully vaccinated, it marks the first major holiday when it is safe to gather with fully vaccinated family and friends. You might be inspired to mark the occasion with fireworks. Rather than attempt to make your own fireworks display, I encourage you and your family to attend one of them many spectacular fireworks displays provided by towns region wide. Here’s why:
Towns hire professionals! Professional fireworks presenters spend all day every day thinking about fireworks, including how to make them beautiful and how to set them off safely. They have all of the safety equipment and tons of experience handling any possible emergency that could arise. They will make an awesome display, and you don’t have to worry about a thing.
The towns’ fireworks displays are completely free! You could drop hundreds of dollars on fireworks and still end up with a comparatively lackluster show. That doesn’t even include the time and effort involved.
You can be certain town fireworks are legal! Understanding all of the many regulations around putting on your own fireworks show is a daunting task. There are minimum ages to buy and possess fireworks, and they vary in different states. Some fireworks themselves are not permitted. Then there are other laws that indicate where you can set them off and when. Knowing these regulations and conditions requires calls not just to your town but to the local fire department. It is so much simpler to let the professionals handle it.
No special equipment is needed for town fireworks. Setting off fireworks safely is difficult. It requires quite a lot of specialized equipment, including ear protection, goggles, gloves, non-flammable clothing, fire extinguisher, garden hose, and buckets of water nearby. And even then, you can’t be assured to get away without an injury. If you go to one of the many spectacular professional displays, all you need is your bug spray, a comfortable lawn chair, and a cold beverage. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.
Town fireworks are the most courteous option. Neighbors can deal with one ear-blasting display a year. If several people in a given locality choose to set off fireworks on different nights, the neighbors’ sleep could be interrupted for days. Veterans, pets, and livestock, may have a particularly difficult time with the sounds and effects of fireworks.
Most importantly, town fireworks are safest. At public celebrations, you can be certain that spectators will be kept at a safe distance. Also, one of the most common injuries during home fireworks displays happens when a firework is handled after not going off as expected. This is so dangerous. People lose body parts. Also, fireworks, matches, and lighters are extremely attractive to children. At a town display, all of the dangerous components are safely out of reach.
You might be thinking, “Oh, we’ll just get a few small fireworks.” I would assert that there is no such thing as a small or “minor” firework. Even sparklers easily burn little hands, and have caused children’s clothing to catch on fire. Leave the sparklers for adults. Instead, equip the kids with glow sticks or novelty LED lights.
If you love fireworks, you can often catch displays in neighboring towns on different nights. It is a far better way to celebrate than trying to create your own fireworks display. Here’s wishing everyone a safe and happy July 4th.
Paige Fillio, PA, is a physician assistant at SVMC ExpressCare in Bennington. The office is newly relocated in a shared space with the Respiratory Evaluation Center at 120 Hospital Drive.