I want to wish everyone a happy Fourth of July and encourage you to be safe this summer. The dangers of fireworks and the cold inviting waters of our lakes and streams may seem minimal but they are very real.
Common sense is the first line of defense in assuring our safety. Excessive alcohol consumption and lack of supervision are two major factors involved in incidents resulting in injury. I want to provide you with some information to bring awareness to the potential dangers of fireworks and water safety.
More than 19,500 reported fires are started by fireworks each year, and burns account for 44% of the 9,100 injuries treated in emergency rooms seen in the month around July 4. Children ages 10–14 had the highest rate of fireworks injury, with more than one-third (36%) of the victims of fireworks injuries under age 15. Sparklers, which burn at 1200 °F account for roughly one-quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries. Remember that in general all fireworks are illegal east of the Friant/Kern canal area of Tulare County.
In the US, an average of 3,500 to 4,000 people drown per year. That is an average of 10 fatal drownings per day. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1-4. The Tulare County Sheriff Office has investigated one fatal drowning and had several rescues so far this year. Waterfalls, rivers, and streams, while beautiful and inviting, can become dangerous due to changing water conditions and the force of hydraulics which can pull a swimmer into danger, or even pin them in the water. Always heed warning signs, wear a personal flotation device, and pay attention to the terrain and conditions of the environment.
Please feel free to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office (559) 802-9400 and Tulare County Fire Department (559) 802-9800 if you have any questions regarding fireworks or water safety. I have also provided some links for resource information.
Web Sites to reference:
Please remember: common sense is the first line of defense in assuring our safety.
Have a happy Fourth of July and have a safe summer.
Larry Micari, District 1 Supervisor
Tulare County Board of Supervisors