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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fireworks Safety Guidelines: Missourians urged to use caution

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Missourians urged to take caution with firworks


June 26, 2011
missouri-news.org
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – For many, Independence Day just wouldn’t be Independence Day without fireworks. But ahead of next weekend’s 4th of July festivities, state officials are urging Missourian’s to practice caution in order to avoid injuries.
“While fireworks are exciting to see, they are potentially dangerous and when misused and can lead to serious injuries, fires, burns and even death,” said State Fire Marshal Randy Cole.
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. According to the NFPA, fireworks caused an estimated 22,500 reported fires causing $42 million in direct property damage.
Cole said the safest bet is to attend a public show staged by professionals, noting that even handheld sparklers are known to cause injury. But for Missourians who do choose to purchase and use their own fireworks, Cole had several safety tips:
- Purchase fireworks only from a properly licensed retailer
- 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.
- Keep young children away from fireworks.
- Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Make sure to have water nearby in case of a fire or an accident.
- 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.  Use a “designated shooter.”
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place. Don’t save fireworks from season to season.

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