(Jefferson City) – As families plan to celebrate Independence Day, Missouri State Fire Marshal Randy Cole is urging Missourians to think twice before firing off explosives in dry weather conditions.
Cole spoke with Ozark Radio News and explained:
Cole says that Missourians who do choose to use fireworks should follow a number of safety tips, including: Purchase fireworks only from a properly licensed retailer; Keep young children away from fireworks; Make sure to have water nearby in case of a fire or an accident; Always wear eye protection and earplugs if you have sensitive ears; Tie back long hair and don’t wear loose fitting clothes; Only light one firework at a time; Never try to re-light fireworks that have malfunctioned; Never have any part of your body over fireworks.; Never throw or point fireworks at other people, or carry fireworks in your pocket; Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water and leaving them in a trash can; Never light fireworks indoors; Don’t use fireworks while consuming alcohol; Store fireworks in a cool, dry place; And don’t save fireworks from season to season.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, far more fires are reported in the U.S. on a typical Independence Day than on any other day of the year, and fireworks account for more than half of those fires.
The NFPA also reports that in 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 total structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported deaths, 60 injuries and $36 million in direct property damage.
Anyone with concerns about a fireworks dealer or the types of fireworks being sold by a dealer should call the Office of the State Fire Marshal at 573-751-2930.