Fireworks sellers are doing a brisk business just in time for Independence Day celebrations. Since Kodiak will not have a public fireworks display, residents will have to put on their own shows. And if the pops, booms and bangs in the evening working up to July 4 are any indication, Kodiakans are well-stocked for the holiday.
The only place in Kodiak where fireworks are for sale is Les n’ Dan’s, located across the road from Bayside Fire Station. It opened June 15.
On Thursday, there were people buying fireworks from the time the stand opened at noon. Dan Seaton, one of the owners for whom the stand is named, said his biggest sellers are kits — packs of multiple types of fireworks — and mortars, a type of aerial firework.
Seaton maintains that handling fireworks requires good judgment.
“You mix it with alcohol, you get in trouble just about every time,” Seaton said.
Fireworks of any kind are illegal inside the Kodiak city limits. Outside, in the borough, fireworks are allowed for the month between June 15 and July 15 as well as December 26 through January 1 for New Year’s Day.
Kodiak Fire Department Fire Chief Rome Kamai said it’s important to read the instructions and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the package.
He also said that fires aren’t super common, since everything is green, but can happen when the grass is dry and brown.
Still, people should make sure their fireworks are completely cool, even dunking them in water, before discarding.
“That can reduce the potential of a dumpster or garbage can fire,” Kamai said. “If they’re going to be putting it into the back of their vehicle, they want to make sure that those items are extinguished properly before they put them in the back of a pickup truck or anything like that to reduce the chance of having a vehicle fire.”
People should also pick up their trash after shooting fireworks.
Les n’ Dan’s offers a bounty on fireworks trash to give people an incentive to clean up.
“For every Safeway bag you fill up with fireworks wrappers, boxes, papers, you get $2 credit, stuff you can just pick off the shelves,” Seaton said.
Keeping pets safe is another issue with fireworks.
Many pets are scared of them, according to Kelsey Morgan at the Kodiak Pet Supply store. The store sells a calming aid for dogs and thunder shirts, which wrap the pet firmly to help calm them, similar to swaddling.
The free option is to keep them in the house.
“Make sure they don’t have a way out, and if they do need to go out, go outside with them,” Morgan said. “Also, give them a safe place inside the house. Lots of pets will try to hide under the bed or in a closet or in the bathtub. Try to give them an area they can go if that makes them feel safe.”
Contact Julie Herrmann at firstname.lastname@example.org.