Keep Fireworks Away From Pets and Children This July 4th

By Alex Lloyd Gross

Fireworks have been legal in Pennsylvania for about two years.  With July 4th just around the corner, expect certain areas to sound like a war zone. It is a great idea to keep pets inside. Pets hear the sound and it amplifies inside their ears, which gets them scared and they panic. When they do that, they want to get away and that means by any way possible. They will dig under fences,  jump over them . Your pet could be gone forever,  even if you are not the one lighting anything off.

Keep them inside.  If you are outside and it’s quiet, that means nothing. Someone can light something at any time.  Remember, even a loud boom from down the block sounds closer when an animal hears it.  By the time you can run outside to check on the animal it may be too late.

It also goes without saying to not  light fireworks around children. Keep them away when lighting anything  and do not allow them to light anything. Keep all unexplored fireworks secure and locked away, so children will not be able to experiment with them.  Over the weekend, a nine year old girl lit a homemade explosive which caused her to receive life altering her hands, face and eyes. “This should not have even been in her hands to begin with,” said Captain Mark Burgmann of the Phila. Police Special Victims Unit.

Store bought fireworks, including aerial devices are legal to use but must be kept away from people and buildings. Home made and professional display fireworks need a federal permit to even posses. In this case, her father bought the explosives from a man on the street and detonated one. The other was left on a mantel which was accessible to the girl.  M-80’s and Quarter Sticks of Dynamite are illegal and have been since 1966.

Pennsylvania made them legal because people were making trips down south to smuggle them across  state lines. Few, if any people were arrested. Fireworks were legal to purchase in Pa but not by Pennsylvania residents up until 2004.  Lawmakers eventually saw the absurdity in that law and changed it in December 2017.