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Final Word: Best to enjoy fireworks handled by the pros

I was driving to my son's baseball game Saturday night. The thermometer in the car read it was 108 degrees outside.

I pulled into the Safeway parking lot to buy a third bag of ice (it melts before you can put it in the cooler) and I saw a crew setting up a tent where they will sell fireworks starting Monday.

I have to admit, I kind of wanted to kick the poles down. I know, the Fourth of July is next Friday.There is nothing like a great fireworks display on the Fourth. But can't we leave it to the professionals? Please?

It hasn't rained here in more than 100 days. We've already seen forest fires this season the size of which we don't usually see til July or August. (I know, we don't live in the forest but that grass around your house is dry. Really dry. And if you live near one of the mountain preserves, you're probably nervous enough WITHOUT sparklers and bottle rockets.)

A new Arizona law regulates the sale and use of fireworks, and most are banned. Legal fireworks must be of the "safe and sane" variety. They can't be projectiles and they can't go up in the air. And just because you can buy them, doesn't mean they are legal.

Needless to say, on the Fourth of July, they'll be going off in your neighborhood anyway. Better have your hose ready.

As silly as that sounds, it's the advice from the Phoenix Fire Department. Have a bucket or hose ready, if you feel you MUST light a fuse on something a legal firework. Also, if it's wrapped in brown paper, it's probably illegal.

If you must light something, make sure that the ashes are completely out before throwing them in a Dumpster, even if you have to soak them.

And never relight a device that doesn't go off, or try to explode something inside a glass container.

Here's what else Phoenix Fire said: When it comes right down to it, they'd prefer you don't buy them or use them at all. Leave it to the pros. That way, no one gets hurt and no one's house burns down. And no firefighters will put their lives in danger to save your house.

What's more patriotic than that??

About the Author

Karie Dozer is host of Arizona's Noon News.

She has been an on-air personality nearly continually since her college days. She loves radio because it is intelligent, immediate and almost always available.

She is the youngest of nine children from a Midwestern Catholic family where she learned to be heard, fight for a place at the table and find humor in almost everything. She was hired as a news intern while a senior at ASU's Cronkite School, and found that covering human stories like the OJ Simpson white Bronco chase and the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns was too much fun to pass up.

She loved life in the newsroom with all the action and crazy personalities to go with it. She anchored and covered some sports too, until politics dragged her away. She served as press secretary for Arizona's Attorney General Grant Woods for a five-year stint before jumping back to radio on a part-time basis. Three years ago she got back in the biz on a more regular basis as a midday host on what is now KTAR News. She has a passion for the breaking news of the moment, education, local politics, great food, sports and fitness. She has trouble turning down a good argument, a good book or a good glass of wine.

In her spare time she takes care of her boys, (husband Rich, son Jack, and yellow lab Buddy,) and bakes awesome chocolate chip cookies. She enjoys the quality of life the Valley offers her family and the natural beauty of Arizona. Her favorite places are golf courses, her own kitchen, the city of Flagstaff, and wherever her family is.

She considers herself lucky to work with the amazingly talented people of KTAR radio.


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