From: Green Bay Metro Fire Department Lt. Cody Johnson
On Independence Day in a typical year, more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for half of those fires, more than any other cause of fires. The Green Bay Metro Fire Department responds to several fires started by fireworks every year. In 2014, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 10,500 people for fireworks related injuries! Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission report by Yongling Tu and Demar Granados In 2013 an estimated 15,600 reported fires including 1,400 structure fires and 200 vehicle fires are reported. Source: NFPA’s Fireworks report by Marty Ahrens, June 2016 The current law allows individuals to possess sparklers, snakes, smoke bombs, noisemakers, and spark fountains. These are the only legal fireworks to possess and use without a permit. Firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, and mortars, are illegal to possess and use without a permit and may result in a citation. A permit may be obtained from your local jurisdiction, though most have very strict guidelines and onlya handful are awarded. Only permits issued by the local jurisdiction and signed by the proper designee (mayor, fire chief, etc) are legal. Permits issued by a fireworks stand are not valid. Safety tips for celebrating with legal fireworks: Adults should only light fireworks. Sparklers can reach temperatures of over 1200 degrees so make sure your child is old enough to understand the danger of using them improperly. Children should always be supervised when using sparklers. Most fireworks injuries happen to children under the age of 5 years old. 5 years old is often too young to use sparklers. Never relight dud fireworks. Stay clear of them for at least 30 minutes and soak them in a bucket of water overnight before disposing. Make sure you light fireworks on a dry level surface (concrete) with no combustibles nearby. Maintain a safe distance. Avoid alcohol use while using fireworks.The best way to keep safe this 4th of July is to leave the fireworks to the professionals. Enjoy your local fireworks show put on by your town, city, or village.
Madison – Governor Scott Walker signed a bill into law making the 4th drunk driving offense a felony regardless of when it was committed and increasing penalties for repeat drunk drivers. Senate Bill 455, now Act 371, was authored by Senator Alberta Darling (R – River Hills) and Representative Jim Ott (R – Mequon).
“This law is being signed to honor the lives of Jennifer, Courtney, and Sophia,” Governor Walker said. “Eight years ago today, the lives of their families changed forever when a repeat drunk driver decided to get behind the wheel.”
More than 200 people are killed each year on Wisconsin’s roads and, prior to 1990’s, operating while intoxicated (OWI) convictions were based on the number of times the offender had been convicted in the five year period preceding arrest. The new law eliminates the 4th offense look back period and increases penalties for repeat drunk driving offenders.
“Penalties in Wisconsin for repeat drunk drivers are less severe than neighboring states,” added Governor Walker. “It is time to match the severity of our penalties to this crime, regardless of when it occurs.”
A photo from the bill signing is attached.