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State Fire Marshal says safety must come first as fireworks sales set to start in Missouri

Seasonal retailers may sell fireworks in Missouri from June 20 through July 10

JEFFERSON CITY – While the drought conditions that plagued Missouri for over a year have eased, the Division of Fire Safety is urging Missourians to continue to exercise extreme caution if they choose to use consumer fireworks as part of July 4th celebrations. Across the nation, July 4th is not only the busiest day of the year for fireworks, it’s the busiest day of the year for fires.

“Across the country, fireworks killed 11 people in 2022, with the youngest victim being only 11 years old,” State Fire Marshal Tim Bean said. “The most spectacular sights are at public displays put on by professionals. If folks choose to use consumer fireworks, please handle them with extreme caution and do not allow children to use fireworks.”

About 40 percent of Independence Day structure fires are the result of fireworks, according to the National Fire Protection Association. About 250 people go to emergency rooms each day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around July 4th. Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires a year.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, across the U.S. in 2022:

  • Eleven people died as the result of fireworks, with victims ranging from 11 to 43 years old.
  • 10,200 people were treated for injuries in hospital emergency rooms.
  • Children under 15 years of age accounted for 28% of the 2022 injuries.
  • About 43% of selected and tested fireworks were found to contain illegal components that could cause severe injuries. The components included fuses that did not comply with the law, the presence of prohibited chemicals, and pyrotechnic materials overload.

Missourians who choose to use consumer fireworks should follow these safety tips:

  • Confirm fireworks are legal where you live; only purchase fireworks from licensed retailers.
  • Only use fireworks in a large open space that has been cleared of flammable materials.
  • Always keep young children away from fireworks; if teens are permitted to handle fireworks, they should be closely supervised by an adult; always wear eye protection.
  • Make sure to have a garden hose or a bucket of water nearby in case of a fire.
  • Only light fireworks one at a time; never try to re-light fireworks that have malfunctioned.
  • Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water and leaving them in a trash can.
  • Never shoot fireworks off from a glass jar or container.
  • Never use fireworks while consuming alcohol.
  • Never store fireworks from season to season.

Fireworks sales at licensed seasonal retailers are legal in Missouri from June 20 to July 10. Through June 16, the Division of Fire Safety had issued 1,133 permits to seasonal fireworks retailers.

DFS conducts safety inspections at fireworks retailers, including checking to make sure they sell only legally-permitted consumer fireworks, that they have at least two exits, are equipped with fire extinguishers, and that fireworks tents have been treated with fire retardant chemicals.

For questions or concerns about firework safety, firework rules, or firework dealers can contact the Division of Fire Safety at (573) 751-2930.

More fireworks safety tips are available at https://dfs.dps.mo.gov/safetytips/fireworks-safety.php.

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