Keeping safety first on the Fourth should be top of mind for the Independence Day holiday weekend, according to State Fire Marshal Tim Bean. He said that fireworks can be very dangerous when misused.

“Public displays provide the best sights, but if you decide to use fireworks, remember, make sure they are legal to use where you live,” he said. “Only buy from licensed retailers. Keep your young children away from fireworks. Sparklers cause the most injuries. Only use fireworks in large open spaces.”

It is illegal to light up fireworks in most Missouri municipalities. Some allow fireworks to be used on select days of the year. Before lighting one off, make sure they are legal where you live.

“Our inspectors improve the safety of firework stands, but we can’t come to your house, so it’s up to you to ensure the safety of your family with fireworks,” he said.

According to state data, 324 Missourians in 2022 were taken to hospitals for fireworks injuries – nearly 300 were treated in emergency rooms and released and 32 were hospitalized. More than 77% of those occurred in the three-week period leading up to and following the Fourth of July.

“Always wear your eye protection,” Bean said. “Only light one firework at a time. Never try to relight fireworks that malfunction. Soak your used fireworks in a bucket before disposing of them. Never consume alcohol when using fireworks.”

Fireworks sales at licensed seasonal retailers are legal in Missouri from June 20 through July 10. State permits should be displayed at all seasonal retail locations.

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