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Fireworks on the Fourth

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Ahh ... the wonders of this time of the year! The kids are out of school, there's lots of family time in the backyard for barbequing and the summer weather is excellent. 

With the Fourth of July coming up, many people start planning out their celebration weekend, buying steaks, ribs, burgers and brats. And let's not forget about the fireworks! It's a quintessential part of the holiday celebrations, right? 

Well, if you live on base, they are illegal to possess, store, handle or use. This restriction extends to sparklers. 

I know, I know. This seems unfair or unpatriotic. But before you get out your laptop and start typing up a nasty e-mail, let me remind you that 19th Services Squadron will be putting on a free fireworks display at the large base lake on July 4. They will also be providing an ice cream social. So, why would you want to spend all that money on fireworks when you can get a fantastic show provided to you for free? You can kick back, hang out with the family and enjoy the show without the hassle of having to clean up the mess that the fireworks create. 

All fireworks can be hazardous. There are no such things as "safe" fireworks. According to the National Fire Protection Administration, more than 7,000 people each year are injured by fireworks. More than half the injuries are to bystanders or people too close to the immediate area of fireworks. Sparklers are often thought of as "safe," have a tip point temperature of more 2,000 degrees. Even after the sparks have ceased, the tip is still hot enough to cause severe burns or ignite combustibles for several minutes. 

So, enjoy the Fourth of July holiday with family and friends, relax and let the professionals handle the fireworks. This way, the only thing you'll have to worry about is how to cure the heartburn from eating an entire jar of sauerkraut. 

For more information, contact me at 987-8441 or Mr. Joe Willett at 987-6529.

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