Happy Independence Day!
Not to put too much of a damper on the festivities, but at this time of year it is prudent to mention these findings from the National Fire Prevention Association's fireworks report:
* In 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 outside and other fires.
* These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported deaths, 60 civilian injuries and $36 million in direct property damage.
The report demonstrates using consumer fireworks heightens the risk of injury and even death. The study showed:
* The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-14 with more than twice the risk for the general population.
* Sparklers and novelties alone accounted for 38 percent of the 8,600 emergency room fireworks injuries in 2010.
So, according to the NFPA, "it is safest to leave fireworks to the professionals. Do not use consumer fireworks. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals. After the firework display, children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, they may still be active."
Note: Consumer fireworks include sparklers and firecrackers. The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees.
Below is a listing of local activities and professional fireworks displays.
July 3 - Sky show, Martins Ferry Schools complex. (Rain date: July 5)
Jyly 3 - Wheeling Symphony, at Weirton Event Center, 3322 East St.; 6 p.m. Free.
July 3 - John Denver Review and fireworks, Schenk Lake, Oglebay Park, Wheeling; 7 p.m. Free.
July 3-4 - Independence Day celebration, including inflatables, Oglebay Park, Wheeling.
July 4 - Independence Day Extravaganza, at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, 1410 Chapline St., Wheeling; 11 a.m. Free.
July 4 - Arts in the Park, Bruce Park, New Martinsville; 1-5 p.m. Free.
July 4 - Independence Day celebration, Wheeling Heritage Port, with Wheeling Symphony concert, 7:30 p.m. and fireworks at dark. Free.
July 4 - Independence Day celebration, Wellsburg. Free.
July 4 - Summerfest, 2012 Main St., Weirton; parade, 10 a.m.; entertainment, 11:15 a.m.-9:15 p.m.; fireworks, 9:30 p.m.