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Having a safe July 4

Published: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 3:49 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 3:49 p.m.

'Safe and Sane' fireworks only

The Petaluma Fire Department is reminding residents to exercise caution while celebrating the Fourth of July this year.

That includes using only Safe and Sane, state-approved fireworks. An illegal firework is defined as anything that flies through the air, moves across the ground, or explodes.

Safe and Sane fireworks will be sold by Petaluma nonprofit groups and permitted booths between July 1 and 4.

The use of fireworks is only allowed on Thursday, July 4, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

In an effort to prevent fires and injuries, the Petaluma Fire and Police Departments will have joint enforcement teams working July 3 through 5, issuing citations for the use of illegal fireworks. “We have had problems in the past with the use of illegal fireworks here in Petaluma, so enforcement teams will be issuing citations in the amount of $1,000 for the possession or use of illegal fireworks,” said Fire Marshal Cary Fergus.

The use of all fireworks is banned in a zone deemed at high risk for fire, which is mainly located along the south and west city boundaries.

Police on lookout for drunken drivers

Petaluma Police and the CHP will be on the lookout for intoxicated drivers this Independence Day, a day they say is one of the most dangerous of the year for drinking-related accidents.

The Avoid the 13 DUI Task Force will be joining thousands of agencies statewide in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement crackdown to catch and arrest impaired drivers.

There will be DUI/ drivers license checkpoints and patrols countywide.

The Avoid the 13 DUI Task Force recommends these tips for a safe Fourth of July:

-- Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.

-- Before drinking, designate a sober driver.

-- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.

-- Use your community’s sober ride program.

-- If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to report it - Call 911.

-- If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

Shelter officials: Watch out for pets during fireworks shows

Petaluma Animal Services is reminding residents that upcoming Fourth of July celebrations can be unsettling and even dangerous for many pets.

“Every year in Petaluma on the Fourth, we respond to many calls for wayward or stressed pets running loose, barking wildly, cowered in tight unsafe spaces, injured on the streets, or worse,” said Officer Jason Pietsch.

“A couple of years ago, I responded to a call for a dog that had scaled an eight foot fence, ran full speed for over an hour, and eventually died of a heart attack.”

In order to help prevent such things, Pietsch offers the following tips for pet owners preparing for the holiday:

--Know your pet’s threshold for noise and flashes of light. If your pet is alarmed by thunder and lightning, this is a good indicator to help you know how your pet might react.

-- Take dogs on a long walk early in the day to curb nervous energy later.

-- Provide things to keep your pet occupied.

-- Stay at home to monitor pets’ condition.

-- Close your blinds and keep the inside of your home brightly lit. This can help diffuse the flashes of light and provide a sound barrier.

-- Provide a sanctuary like a pile of blankets or open crate where a scared pet can feel safe.

-- Make sure pets have their ID on them.

-- Indoors is the only safe place for cats.

-- Some pets are inconsolable. In this case, see if a friend who lives in a quiet neighborhood can pet sit.

To learn more, visit www.petalumaanimalshelter.org or call 778-4396.

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