Celebrate the Fourth, but please be safe

With Fourth of July just around the corner, it’s time to celebrate.

With Fourth of July just around the corner, it’s time to celebrate.

But, please, not with private fireworks. They’re outlawed in most places around here. And for good reason.

Since 1994, the sale, use or possession of fireworks has been prohibited in Bellevue and most neighboring Eastside communities served by the city’s Fire Department (that includes Beaux Arts Village, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point, Medina and Yarrow Point).

Fireworks are allowed from 9 a.m. to midnight on the Fourth of July in unincorporated areas served by the Bellevue Fire Department – an area south of Interstate 90 near Eastgate and the Hilltop area. However, the city advises not using fireworks if you are unsure exactly in which jurisdiction you reside.

I’ll go one step further. Don’t use them at all.

In 2002 through 2007, there were more than 6,000 fireworks related emergency incidents reported to the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Nearly 36 percent of injuries reported were to children 14 and under. Some of those injuries are catastrophic. They also can cause property damage, including fires.

It can be hard to tell a child that you won’t be buying or using fireworks. Fireworks, after all, are a tradition on the Fourth of July.

But, the damage done by exploding fireworks can be catastrophic to a person’s face and fingers. Eyes are lost, faces disfigured, fingers blown away.

It’s far easier telling someone “no” than having to live a lifetime saying “I’m sorry” when something goes wrong.

The summer is heating up. Bellevue and nearby communities don’t need to feel any extra heat in the form of fires or burns caused by fireworks.

Do your part and play it safe while enjoying the Fourth of July season.

Besides, there’s a great public alternative – the Symetra Bellevue Family 4th at Downtown Park.

I hope to see you there.

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