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Last week, my family was cleaning up in the back yard, which included burning some old wood in our small fire pit. At some point, we also started burning some grass that had been collecting. Maybe the grass wasn’t as dead as we’d thought. After we’d been working on the project for a while, we heard some sirens and saw a fire truck pass by on the main road. Soon some firemen were in our yard. Someone had seen the smoke and called the fire department. I really can’t blame the neighbors for doing what they thought was right. On the good side, the captain from the fire department said we’d done it right by using the fire pit, kept it away from the house and we weren’t under the trees.

Here’s the safety tie-in. Tomorrow is Independence Day, which we often celebrate with picnics, parades and fireworks. If you set off fireworks at home, follow these tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety. (www.fireworkssafety.org/safety-tips/) “Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles. Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water. Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby. A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.” (That’s a small part of their list.) I doubt you want a visit from your fire department. Take the steps that will ensure that you will…

Be Safe!

Keith Steele