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Conservation Tip of the Week

Enjoy this coming Fourth of July holiday and help contribute to protecting and conserving our landscape by observing some simple, common-sense safety tips.

The first Fourth of July celebration was held in 1777 and by the early 1800s a tradition of parades, picnics and fireworks were firmly established as part of American Independence Day culture. Since John Hancock's first signing of the Declaration of Independence, the original 13 colonies have grown from 2.6 million people to over 304 million people today. Given the population and potential for personal and property injury, it becomes ever more important that we recognize firework safety in our celebrations (particularly in this very dry season).

To help enhance our public safety, the National Council on Fireworks Safety makes these following recommendations:
• Use fireworks outdoors only.
• Obey local laws.
• Do not use fireworks not permitted in your area. (Check with local authorities.)
• Only persons over age twelve should be allowed to handle sparklers.
• Don't ever use homemade or illegal explosives as fireworks.
• Always have a hose or bucket of water handy.
• Only use fireworks as intended. (Read the instructions and warning labels.)
• Never re-light a "dud." (Instead place it in a bucket of water.)
• Have a "designated shooter." (Alcohol and fireworks don't mix.)
• Keep spectators a safe distance from the shooter.
• Wear safety glasses if you are the designated shooter.
• Report any illegal explosives to your local police department.

Celebrate our heritage and celebrate safely. Happy Holiday!

More information on firework safety is available at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

John Steward, SLAC Today, July 2, 2008