Keep pets safe and happy with these safety tips for Independence Day

July 4, 2014

NEW — Noon July 4, 2014

Big gatherings, kabooms and brilliant fireworks are all things people love about Independence Day, but they can be very frightening for pets. With a little planning and precaution, you can ensure that the holiday is enjoyable for everyone.

  • Keep pets indoors 
— Keep your pets in a safe, enclosed room, preferably one without windows. If you’re having entertaining, consider keeping pets in a room that’s off-limits to guests with plenty of water and food.
  • Create a calming environment
 — Surround pets with their favorite toys and other familiar objects. Sometimes, the smell of an article of clothing from your laundry can help comfort them. Play soothing music and keep the room as quiet as possible by closing doors, windows and blinds.
  • Keep away from fireworks
 — Even if your pet doesn’t seem obviously upset by fireworks, they can still cause harm. Avoid potential burns, injuries or possible ingestion by keeping all pets out of the vicinity of fireworks.
  • Update identification 
— The biggest risk of all is that pets will get loose and become lost. Even if a pet is secured inside, the sound of fireworks can cause extreme panic — sometimes causing them to even break through glass windows. Make sure your pets are microchipped and wearing identification tags. Call to confirm that the pet’s veterinarian and the microchip company have your current address and phone numbers.

The Seattle Humane Society offers $20 microchipping services, including national registration, for pets of income-restricted guardians. Learn more here.

Fourth of July really is more than fireworks

July 1, 2014

Libertarians believe in the maximum amount of personal freedom without government intrusion.

Over the years, they’d point to an encroachment of the government of these freedoms in the name of public safety, including seat belts, motorcycle helmets and traffic cameras.

I was all ready to rant about the erosion of my freedom on the Fourth of July to blow stuff up in celebration of our country’s independence. However, trying to find any place to legally blow up fireworks these days other than the parking lot of Fireworks City at the Indian reservation where they’re bought is becoming more and more futile.

David Hayes

David Hayes

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Internet purchase of fireworks remains illegal

June 23, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. June 23, 2014

State Fire Marshal Charles M. Duffy reminds Washingtonians that the purchase of fireworks over the Internet is illegal.

In Washington state, fireworks must be purchased from a licensed retail fireworks stand during the legal sales period. Orders for fireworks cannot be placed over the Internet or posted on websites such as craigslist.

Residents should talk with family members and guests about the fireworks laws for their area. Fireworks are banned within the city of Issaquah limits.

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Remember fire safety this Memorial Day weekend

May 24, 2014

NEW — Noon May 24, 2014

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources is urging people to exercise caution with fire this Memorial Day weekend.

Wildfire season has started here in Washington, and the department has already responded to more than 80 wildfires across the state.

Memorial Day is traditionally associated with the start of summer, and the holiday weekend typically brings more people outdoors.

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Play it safe with fireworks tonight

July 4, 2013

NEW — Noon July 4, 2013

The Fourth of July — what a day for picnics, family get-togethers, and of course fireworks!

However, an average of 10,000 fireworks related injuries are reported every year in emergency rooms across the country, according to Eastside Fire & Rescue. Alarming statistics show children between the ages of 6 and 11 account for the highest percentage of injuries.

Even legal fireworks can be dangerous. Something as simple as a fireworks sparkler burns at a temperature of 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. All too often, such fireworks that are considered legal end up in the hands of young children who are unsupervised.

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