Fireworks time is on the horizon in Missouri. Rob Cima, the vice president of the Missouri Pyrotechnics Association, said licensed fireworks stands are open for business.
“Fireworks are only really available between June 20 and July 10,” he said. “That’s the fireworks season. There’s also a little window around New Year’s but for the most part, those tents that everyone sees going up, they’ll open on June 20 and close on July 10.”
Check your local ordinances to find out when you can legally light off fireworks.
This might not come as a surprise, but if you buy fireworks around the upcoming July 4th holiday, it’s going to cost you a bit more cash. Cima said consumers can expect to pay about 5% to 10% more than last year – or about 40% more than before the pandemic.
“The good news is it’s a little better than last year. I think a lot of retailers and wholesalers expected that they were going to have a problem and they planned ahead and they ordered even earlier than usual,” said Cima. “The bad news is a lot of the things that they ordered still haven’t made its way to the U.S.”
Cima said demand has increased. Fireworks sales have more than doubled since 2019. He said some fireworks could run out early and suggests not waiting until the last minute to buy fireworks.
Cima shared a couple of ideas that could save you some money.
“There are websites that you can go to buy fireworks at wholesale if you’re buying in large quantity, but for most people unless you’re going to spend thousands of dollars on your Fourth of July show, your best bet is to try a few tents. Usually each tent has a special or something that they’re doing to market and try to get people in and you can take advantage of whatever their promotion is,” he said.
According to Cima, the U.S. had about 11,600 fireworks-related injuries in 2021 – the lowest rate the country has ever had. He said the industry has been working hard to make fireworks safer for consumers.
“Actually more and more states have been legalizing them recently,” said Cima. “For years, it was going the other way where they were illegal and now it’s coming back, so with these fireworks that are safer to use, you actually have more fireworks than ever in more states than ever and lower injury rates. That’s a great combination.”
He said all fireworks should be handled carefully, especially canister shells.
“They call it a little mortar tube and it has like a ball or a little canister. It’s probably three inches tall and it fits down in this tube and you light it and it goes off. That’s a pretty powerful firework and it can be shot safely,” he said. “The biggest thing is you have to stabilize the bottom of it. If you just set it on your sidewalk, I worry about it tipping over.”
Cima said children under 12 should not be lighting off fireworks without a parent supervising, including sparklers. He suggests fireworks users wear a pair of safety glasses, shoot fireworks outdoors on a flat surface and away from people. Finally, use good technique – light fireworks one at a time and move back quickly.
To listen to the full Show Me Today interview with Rob Cima, click below. (20:00)
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