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Be Safe, Sane For July 4 Holiday
Jeannine Etheridge and Lora Handley were manning the Phantom Fireworks booth and displaying a few of the items they have for sale for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. All proceeds at their booth, 1138 West F, will go to the Oakdale Equine Rescue which has taken in 239 horses since November 2010 and found homes for over 200 horses. - photo by Virginia Still/The Leader

It’s a shortened work week for many Americans, as Friday is the Fourth of July federal holiday, the observance of our nation’s birthday.

There will be no mail delivery, all local, state and federal government offices will be closed and banks will be closed. Businesses have the option of closing, and The Leader office will close for the day on Friday to observe the holiday.

Between now and then, local residents will have the chance to purchase Safe and Sane fireworks from a number of booths scattered throughout Oakdale, with a variety of local service clubs, school and church groups and non-profit organizations running the booths to raise money.

The state Fire Marshal-approved Safe and Sane fireworks are legal in the city, though any fireworks that leave the ground are not. Local police and fire crews have been placed on high alert ahead of the holiday, with the region in a severe drought and ripe for fire.

There will also be additional law enforcement officers on patrol throughout the region, looking to crack down on drunk drivers, check for seatbelt use and make sure motorists obey all the rules of the road over the long holiday weekend.

Woodward Reservoir is scheduled to have its 19th annual fireworks display on Friday, July 4 as well.

For residents planning to use the Safe and Sane fireworks, there are some rules and regulations to follow to help stay safe and enjoy the show.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers these common sense safety tips for using consumer fireworks in the hopes that injuries to consumers can be greatly reduced this season. It is up to consumers to use fireworks in a safe and responsible manner:

Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.

Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.

Fireworks should only be used outdoors.

Always have water ready if you are using fireworks.

Know your fireworks; read the caution label before igniting.

Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.

Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.

Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.

Only light one firework at a time.

Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives; they can kill you.

Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

Lastly, soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor, fire resistant garbage can away from buildings and flammable materials.