weather icon Partly Cloudy

July 4 safety and awareness checklist

As we celebrate our great nation’s birthday, let’s run down this safety and awareness checklist so we can have a blast this 4th… but only the good kind.

Be Mindful of Our Veterans

As my friend and Army veteran, Rennie, reminded me, it’s a sad irony that so many combat veterans struggle on Independence Day. Loud blasts that sound like gunfire and explosives can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder. Per the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, an estimated 11% to 20% of military members who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from PTSD in a given year. If you have neighbors that are veterans, please be courteous if you’re planning to set off fireworks.

Keep it Legal

Fireworks labeled “Safe-n-Sane” have been tested and approved by valley fire departments. Per BCNV.org, “Only ‘safe and sane’ fireworks are legal in Clark County, including Boulder City. ‘Safe and sane’ fireworks do not shoot into the air and/or explode. However, if mishandled, they can still cause severe burns and injuries. All fireworks should be treated with care and supervised by a responsible adult.”

Remember, that just because they’re labeled “Safe-n-Sane” doesn’t mean they can’t cause injury or start fires.

Safety First

Nothing will take the fun out of fireworks like a trip to the emergency room.

The safest place to watch fireworks is at a show put on by pros, but if you’ll be lighting up the “red glare” at home, follow these fireworks safety tips:

■ Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from kids and pets.

■ Only use fireworks outdoors in a cleared area.

■ Remove dead plant materials including palm fronds.

■ A fire extinguisher is best, but if you don’t have one, keep a bucket and charged hose nearby.

■ Follow all instructions on firework packaging—do not modify.

■ The person lighting the fireworks should wear eye protection.

■ Don’t set off more than one firework at a time.

■ Light fireworks pointed away from your face, then quickly step back.

■ Never point or toss fireworks toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.

■ Never try to pick up or relight a “dud.” Wait 20 minutes then douse it with water.

■ Douse all firework debris with water before discarding.

■ Vacate anywhere folks are lighting off fireworks inebriated or acting a fool.

Protect Your Pets

Loud fireworks are no fun for our furry friends, in fact, they send most into a total panic. It’s no wonder so many pets run away or are reported missing on July 4th. “According to national statistics, animal control officials across the country see a 30-60% increase in lost pets each year between July 4th and 6th. In fact, July 5 is one of the busiest days of the year for shelters”—PetAmberAlert.com

■ It’s best to stay home with your dogs, indoors, surrounding them with creature comforts.

■ Playing loud music can help muffle firework noise.

■ Consider giving your dog or cat a natural “chill pill” treats to help with anxiety, like CBDoggies offered by our local For the Health of Our Pets (Dyanah at 702-677- 2567).

■ Do not leave them outside, even if they’re used to it — panicky pets will break loose of leashes and jump fences. Ensure that your pet can’t breach gates, fences, or any enclosures.

■ Make sure your pets are wearing ID tags with updated contact information, even if they’re chipped. Consider adding an “AirTag” pet tracking device to their collar.

■ Do not take them with you to any outdoor events, nor leave them in the car, especially in the heat, ever!

■ Check your yard for fireworks debris before letting pets outside. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks at home, debris can make its way into your yard, and into your pet’s mouth.

For a more detailed list of fireworks safety tips visit https://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/News/Blog/Detail/fireworks-safety

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July, everyone!

Holy smokes!

Two weeks ago on June 25, I received messages from panicked individuals at the Elks Lodge RV Park stating that the Boulder City Fire Department had been conducting a controlled burn that had gotten out of control.

July is PR Month

For nearly 40 years, the nation has celebrated Park and Recreation Month in July to promote building strong, vibrant, and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation.

“Be Kind, Be Boulder” this Fourth of July

Happy Birthday, America! Today, we celebrate an act of autonomy and sovereignty that happened in 1776, nearly 250 years ago: the Founding Fathers signing of the Declaration of Independence established this great nation. (It would be another 155 years before Boulder City’s founders arrived to construct Hoover Dam!)

Ensuring fire safety at Lake Mead

At Lake Mead National Recreation Area, our mission extends beyond preserving the natural beauty and recreational opportunities.

Independence Day in Boulder City

I was elected to the Boulder City council long ago. Believe me, there were more exciting events that occurred during city council meetings in the mid-to-late 1980s than there are at present. We had Skokie Lennon who arrived in the council meetings while standing at the back of the room. When he had something to say he would erupt with the statement “can you hear me?” Of course we could since he was the loudest person in the room. He would say what he had to say and then leave.

Nothing to fear

A June 13 letter by Norma Vally claimed Pride Month in Boulder City is an example of identity politics that will cause divisiveness in our safe, kind, and welcoming town. I cannot disagree more.

Save me some confetti eggs

In last week’s edition, I wrote a preview of the upcoming July 4 celebration and described Boulder City’s biggest day of the year as if a Norman Rockwell painting had come alive and jumped off the canvas. I had a few people praise me for that description, saying it’s the perfect way to do so.

Stuff I learned from my dad

It is that time of year in Newspaper World when we are going back through issues from the past year trying to decide what, if anything, is worth submitting for the annual Nevada Press Foundation Awards.

State veterans’ memorial still in f lux

Last month I wrote about a possible move of the veterans’ memorial from its long-time location adjacent to the Grant Sawyer building to the veterans’ cemetery in Boulder City.

Not on my turf

In early April, the City Council heard a presentation by Lage Design about staff’s recommended option to remove 35% of the turf at the Boulder City Municipal Golf Course.