Guest Column: Hot, Dry and Fourth of July!

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Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

It’s hot, dry and we have the Fourth of July coming up. This 4th of July will be very dangerous. Many fireworks stands will open the weekend before the Fourth and celebrations will continue into the following weekend.

Though many communities are banning fireworks, this tempts many to obtain illegal fireworks that can be extremely dangerous. Fire officials recommend everyone to attend public fireworks shows and leave the lighting to the professionals.

Check with your local fire department to see if fireworks are allowed in your community. [They are not permitted in Malibu.] 

If they are permitted, always read and follow directions. Use them outdoors only. Do not use near grass or other flammable materials. Keep spectators at a safe distance. Never point or throw fireworks at people or objects. Always have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby. Never attempt to relight or fix fireworks.

Keep barbeque grills away from anything that can burn, such as your house, garage, sheds or vegetation. Don’t leave the grill unattended while it’s cooking. Keep children and pets away from the grill. Make sure coals are completely extinguished and cold before disposing of them.

While you’re outdoors, keep hydrated and consume lots of water. Avoid direct sun and use sunscreen.

Make sure your pets are kept indoors as loud noise scares them and they can easily run away.

Contact your local fire department and visit calfire.ca.gov/communications/communications_firesafety_FourthOfJuly for additional safety information.

Where you go, drive safe, be patient and Happy Independence Day!