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Protect your home July 4 from festive neighbors

outdoor amateur fireworks  

Fireworks are now banned in many Northwest communities, perhaps yours. But that might not keep your lively neighbors from lighting up the block.

Despite restrictions, some of us will wake up July 5 to find charred remains of spent bottle rockets lying on our lawns and back patios, or – worse – on our wood decks and shingle roofs.

Then there's always "that guy" who drives to the reservation each summer to buy Roman candles, firecrackers, or monster fountains that illuminate half his neighborhood in a dazzling display.

You can't control your neighbors, but you cantake steps to ensure your own home and property are better protected against rogue pyrotechnics.

  • Keep your lawn mowed and well-watered leading up to July 4.
  • You should even hose down mulch and beauty bark.
  • Remove dead leaves and pine needles from your roof and gutters.
  • Clean your yard of any dry brush, weeds, and debris.
  • Don't forget to restrain pets that might get frightened by the booms and flashes and run away. It's probably best to keep them indoors.
  • If you leave town, ask a trusted neighbor (not Pyro Guy) to keep an eye on your home.

If you choose to use legal "safe and sane" fireworks:

  • Do so only with an adult present.
  • Light them on concrete or asphalt.
  • Keep a hose or fire extinguisher nearby just in case. 
  • Never try to relight duds. 
  • Think twice about letting kids light fireworks. Even sparklers, which burn at more than 1,000 degrees, can scorch skin.
  • And never light fireworks near tree limbs, which act as "ladder fuel" in a blaze, igniting the entire tree.

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