Why take chances with fireworks?
I understand the thrill. I, too, was once a kid. Dad would buy packs of fireworks, and I would find his stash and squirrel away a pack or two to secretly light with my buddies when he was working or otherwise away from home.
The National Fire Protection Association says that two of every five victims of fireworks injuries is younger than 15. Not surprisingly, 65 percent of all victims are males. In 2010 alone, 8,600 people required hospital treatment for fireworks injuries nationwide.
The greater danger this year, however, might be in sparking a fire that burns someone’s home.
Some communities, including Beloit, have banned consumer fireworks. Janesville has not done so. A drought has been declared in Rock County. The state Department of Natural Resources has issued emergency burning restrictions for 11 counties, including Dane, in southern Wisconsin. That bans fireworks, campfires and even smoking outdoors. A DNR official says the same conditions exist in Rock and Walworth counties but that the DNR doesn’t have jurisdiction in those counties.
The DNR ban doesn’t include community fireworks displays. In Janesville, fireworks are expected to go on at Saturday’s Freedom Fest and Wednesday’s Independence Day on the Rock.
We’ll share our perspectives in our editorial Saturday.