Caution urged as fireworks season launches


With a week of fireworks just getting under way, officials offer reminders about rules and safety for people and their furry pals.

The city of Walla Walla restricts discharge of fireworks to July 4 from 9 a.m. to July 5 at 1 a.m.

The following fireworks are prohibited:

Sky rockets; missile- type rockets; firecrackers or salutes; chasers; jumping jacks; any firework specifically designed to produce a loud noise such as whistles, explosions or reports; and any firework not defined as a non-aerial common firework.

Non-aerial common fireworks include ground spinners, fountains, sparklers, smoke devices or snakes designed to remain on or near the ground and not to travel outside a 15-foot diameter or emit sparks or other burning material that land outside a 20-foot diameter or above a height of 20 feet.

Fireworks bought outside the city may not be allowed to be discharged within the city.

The Fire Department offers the following safety tips:

Children should always have an adult present.

Fireworks should never be tampered with or altered.

Fireworks should only be discharged in open areas away from structures, vehicles and combustible materials such as dry grass and weeds.

Always have a water hose, water bucket or fire extinguisher available.

Spent or "dud" devices should be soaked in water overnight then discarded.

Please be conscientious and clean up yards and streets when the holiday is over.

While you may enjoy the show, pets are not likely to share the warm feelings about the pyrotechnics. The Humane Society of the United States suggests the following:

Leave them at home.

Don't leave your pet in the car -- With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects or die in a few short minutes.

Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air, but they do provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.

Give them shelter -- Keep your pets indoors at home in a sheltered, quiet area. Some animals can become destructive when frightened, so be sure that you've removed any items that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful to your pet if chewed.

Keep it quiet -- If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4 for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks displays.

Pay attention -- Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their fear, pets who normally wouldn't leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death.

Tag them -- Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags so that if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly. Animals found running at large should be taken to the local animal shelter, where they will have the best chance of being reunited with their owners.


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