LL Fourth of July changes

The annual Fourth of July celebration at Daniel Fernandez Memorial Park will have a few major changes this year, including a park-and-ride service and added security at the event. Security checkpoints will be stationed at the entrance of the park.

Park-and-ride parking will be available at Katherine Gallegos and Los Lunas elementary schools. Buses will be running from 3:30 p.m. through 8:30 p.m.

Passengers will be dropped off inside the park, bypassing the security line because passengers will be screened before they get on the bus. Pedestrians walking in directly at the park will have to go through security through the center gate at the memorial area.

Food and water will be permitted in the park. Alcohol and weapons are not allowed.

Parking without shuttling will also be available at the Los Lunas Sports Complex, Enchantment Little League and the Department of Transportation, located south of the park. Staff will be on site to direct parking.

Los Lunas Schools resource officers will provide security at the park-and-ride parking lots.

After the fireworks show has ended, there will be about 16 buses ready to take passengers back to their vehicles.

Firework safety tips

The National Safety Council advises everyone to enjoy fireworks at public displays conducted by professionals, and not to use any fireworks at home. They may be legal but they are not safe.

If you choose to use legal fireworks:

• Never allow young children to handle fireworks

• Older children should use them only under close adult supervision

• Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol

• Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eye wear

• Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands

• Never light them indoors

• Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material

• Never point or throw fireworks at another person

• Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting

• Never ignite devices in a container

• Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks

• Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding

• Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire

• Never use illegal fireworks

• Better yet, grab a blanket and a patch of lawn, kick back and let the experts handle the fireworks show.

Sparklers are dangerous

Every year, young children can be found along parade routes and at festivals with sparklers in hand, but sparklers are a lot more dangerous than most people think.

Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees — hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers alone account for more than 25 percent of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries. For children under 5 years of age, sparklers accounted for nearly half of the total estimated injuries.

Consider using safer alternatives, such as glow sticks, confetti poppers or colored streamers.

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