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Practice “safety first” when handling fireworks

As Independence Day approaches, citizens need to keep safety in mind as they handle fireworks to avoid any problems. To provide a safer environment for families, the City reminds everyone to adhere to all regulations involving the sale and discharge of fireworks in Joplin. Remember to to be a good neighbor and remove any trash or debris from the fireworks you discharge.

Fireworks may be sold within the City of Joplin on July 1, 2, 3, and 4 only. They may be discharged only on July 1, 2, 3, and 4 from 12 Noon to 11 p.m. The City prohibits the sale, possession or discharge of bottle rockets within the City. Any bottle rockets found will be confiscated immediately. Any variances of these rules may result in appropriate fines and confiscation of all possessed fireworks. Chinese lanterns are also banned from use within Joplin.

Other fireworks safety tips include:

* Think first and foremost of SAFETY when discharging fireworks.
* Follow all the manufacturer’s instructions.
* It is recommended that children do not use any firework. However if they do, always have adult supervision.
* Only discharge fireworks in an area clear of any obstructions, and has short grass or a noncombustible surface.
* Clear the area of any trash, wood piles, yard debris, etc.
* Make sure that everyone is a safe distance from the discharge area.
* Have a method of extinguishing devices immediately, i.e. a garden hose, bucket of water, fire extinguisher.
* DO NOT HANDLE DUDS. They may go off several minutes later.
* Always use punks to light the firework. Using lighters or matches may cause the firework to ignite prematurely.
* Do not hold a firework in your hand and light it.
* Do not discharge fireworks toward or near people, houses or other structures, flammable or combustible items.

For more information about fireworks safety, contact Dale Brooks, Fire Marshal, at 417-624-0820, ext. 1307.

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