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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Jul 3, 2009

We know, you’ve heard it time and time again. But it bears worth repeating.

Please, please practice safety this Fourth of July.

The most obvious safety rule to follow on the Fourth, of course, is practicing safety around fireworks. In states such as Iowa where most fireworks are illegal anyway, it’s only common sense to avoid temptation and follow the law. If you’re a minor, you could get into serious trouble by illegally discharging fireworks. And if you’re an adult tempted to give in to the pleadings of your children to buy them fireworks and allow them to set them off, think again. It just isn’t worth it.

If you’re traveling to another state where fireworks are legal, such as South Dakota, it’s still a good idea to keep safety uppermost in mind. While fireworks may be legal in South Dakota and you’re tempted to drive there just to buy some, do note that cities and municipalities have their own laws about discharging fireworks. So follow them.

If you should find a place to discharge fireworks where it is legal, be careful not to use fireworks in dry areas or somewhere else where they can cause damage. Keep fireworks out of the hands of young children.

Also discourage children from horsing around with fireworks. They should lay them on the ground and light them and, as the instructions say, retire quickly. Holding a Roman candle in your hand and having a fireworks fight with someone else is only going to cause trouble – and probably an injury.

Also remember that alcohol and driving don’t mix. Neither do alcohol and water. And by that we mean don’t drink to excess when you’re boating. Iowa has stiff penalties for those caught operating a boat while under the influence, so follow the law and stay safe.

With heavier traffic on the Fourth, plan ahead for both higher traffic levels and road construction. If you travel any distance at all, it’s guaranteed that you’ll run into both.

Using a little common sense and courtesy during this Fourth of July can ensure that you’ll have fond memories for years to come – not painful ones that you’ll regret.