State releases safety tips for July 4 festivities


BENNINGTON - Bombs, boats, and germs are among the many dangers facing Americans this Fourth of July and so state officials have shared a tips and rules to keep the public safe.

According to a release from the Vermont Division of Fire Safety Central Office, many types of fireworks are illegal in this state. They include but are not limited to: Toy cannons, toy canes, toy guns that use explosives, explosive propelled balloons, firecrackers, torpedoes, sky rockets, Roman candles, and cherry bombs.

Towns can issue permits to use them, either through their fire departments, police departments, or select boards.

Legal fireworks include sparklers, snakes, party poppers, glow worms, smoke bombs, string poppers, snappers, and drop pops so long as they do not have more than 0.25 grains of explosive powder. While no permit is needed for these and they can be found in many stores, it's not recommended that children use them outside adult supervision.

More fire safety information can be found at Barbecues are a staple of Independence Day festivities; care should be taken when both grilling and transporting food so as not to cause illness.

"Sharing a meal outdoors with family and friends is a great way to enjoy a summer holiday," said Elisabeth Wirsing, Food & Lodging program chief for the Vermont Department of Health in a release. "And we want you to know how to prepare and serve food as safely as you would in your own kitchen."

Some tips from the Department of Health include: Use an insulated cooler when transporting food. Keep it at 40 degrees or lower to slow the growth of bacteria. Discard perishable food if it's been left out more than two hours. If the temperature outside is above 90 degrees, make it one hour. Eating outside away from home? Make sure there's a source of clean water, utensils, wipes, or moist towelettes for washing hands. If you're ill, do not prepare or serve food for others. Don't use the same utensils and plates for raw and cooked meat. On the grill, use a thermometer to make sure meat has been cooked to the right internal temperature. That's 160 degrees for hamburger and other ground meat, 165 degrees for poultry and hot dogs, and 145 degrees for steak and pork chops.

There are plenty more food safety tips at

Vermont State Police Marine Division has released boating safety tips and regulations. Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1974, must have completed a boating safety coarse to be able to operate a motorized vessel. A vessels must carry a life jacket for each person aboard. This includes canoes, kayaks and paddle boards. Children under 12 must wear Type I, II or III United States Coast Guard approved life jackets. Operators must stop their boat when signaled by State Police who have the authority to make sure boating regulations are being followed. Any motorized vessel must have a Vermont Certificate of Registration and validation sticker to be legally operated on public waters. Sewage can not be discharged into the water. The noise level from a motor can not exceed 82 decibels when measured 50 feet from the vessel. Vessels can not be operated at greater than "no wake speed" within 200 feet of the shoreline, a person in the water, another vessel, an anchored vessel with a person aboard, or a dock. No wake speed is the speed at which a vessel does not produce a wake. Vessels can not go above five miles per hour within 200 feet of a marked swimming area. Boating while intoxicated is illegal.

State Police will also be stepping up patrols and manning check points this holiday weekend.

"We've made great strides saving lives through enforcement, education, engineering safer roads and an improved ability to render medical aid immediately following a crash," said Lt. Garry Scott, Vermont State Police traffic safety commander, in a release. "However we have to work harder and more effectively in driving towards zero deaths on Vermont roadways."

There have been 17 traffic fatalities in the state since 2014 began. Of those, five were suspected to have been caused by speed, four by driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and in two instances people were not wearing seat belts.


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