By Stephen Rinaldi, Kuna Fire Chief
The 4th of July is a celebration of the birth of a new the United States of America and its independence from Great Britain. The celebration has grown to not only represent our independence but the patriotism born out of the struggles this country has endured both at home and abroad over the years. Tradition would have us celebrate the greatness of our nation on its birthday with the flash and bang of fireworks symbolizing the freedom and excitement of our independence. This celebration is a fun time for all, especially the children watching the skies light up in a colorful display.
Unfortunately, the over exuberance of independence often leads to carelessness and a shirking of responsibility for those using and handling fireworks. With the 4th of July falling in the middle of Summer the use of allowed common fireworks or PROHIBITED aerial fireworks can cause extremely dry plant or other combustible materials to ignite easily. Firefighters all to often see this incendiary combination that results in the loss of property as well as injury or even death. When children are responsible for these actions Idaho Statutes provide for the following: 39-2613. Penalties – Injunctions. Any person violating the provisions of this chapter or any rules issued hereunder is guilty of a misdemeanor… Fireworks being used in violation of this chapter may be confiscated by the authority having jurisdiction.
Additionally, under 39-2611. Liability of parents: The parents or other persons having custody or control of a minor shall be liable for damage caused by the use of fireworks by the minor. These statutes are not designed to eliminate the fun of the 4th of July but rather to ensure that everyone can enjoy the festivities by leaving the really spectacular show in the sky to the professionals who are specially trained to make it happen. The excitement of watching up close and even handling common fireworks can be dampened quickly with a trip to the emergency room for a severe burn or waiting for the arrival of fire crews to extinguish a fire during your celebration.
Independence Day is about enjoying life and experiencing the pleasure of celebrating with family and friends in a fun and safe atmosphere. Gathering around to share delicious grilled creations and watch children dive into a piece of watermelon that wraps from ear to ear, picnicking under the shade of a tree or stretching out on the grass to catch the suns warmth, and then as darkness falls watching the excitement on the face of a child as the fireworks light up the skies. These are the sights Firefighters prefer to see on the 4th of July. Help us to enjoy the celebration as well by staying safe and using only approved common fireworks (sparklers and fountains) in the appropriate manner. From all of us here at the Kuna Rural Fire
District we thank you for allowing us to serve our community and hope that each of you has a delicious, colorful and safe 4th of July.