Play it safe with July 4 fireworks
Celebrating our independence is one of the highlights of the summer. Unfortunately, each year thousands of Americans are injured or killed by consumer fireworks while celebrating. The Minneapolis Fire Department wants to remind people that we all have a responsibility to ensure the safety of ourselves and those around us when using fireworks.
Fireworks safety tips
- Read, understand and follow the instructions on each device prior to using.
- Use fireworks with close adult supervision.
- Choose a safe place to use fireworks. Fireworks should only be ignited outdoors and away from animals, buildings, storage tanks, brush or combustible materials.
- Anyone acting in an irresponsible manner or who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or other drugs should not handle or discharge fireworks.
- Keep fireworks away from small children and store them in a cool dry location away from sources of ignition (heat and flames). Fireworks should not be allowed to become wet and should not be used when dried after becoming wet.
- Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or on your person.
- Lit cigarettes, cigars, pipes or open flames should be kept away from fireworks.
- Never ignite fireworks inside another container, such as inside a bottle or can.
- Eye protection is recommended for those using fireworks. Never throw fireworks or aim them at another person, animal or building.
- Only light one firework device at a time, then move away from the device quickly. Keep clear of any device that has been ignited, but has yet to go off.
- If a firework device has been ignited but fails to go off, stay clear of the device for an extended period of time to prevent injury due to delayed activation. Soak the device in water before handling it.
- Never place any part of your body, especially your head, over the firework device when lighting. Approach the item from the side and light it while keeping your body away from the item.
- Never relight malfunctioning fireworks. Report any defects back to the seller or the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Never experiment with fireworks, make your own fireworks, or alter fireworks in any manner (a strong federal prohibition exists for such activity).
What’s legal, what’s not
It’s also important to know what’s legal and what’s not when setting off fireworks in Minneapolis:
- Non-explosive fireworks are legal in Minneapolis. Examples include sparklers, cones, tubes that spark, snakes, and party poppers.
- It is legal to use these types of fireworks in your yard or on your sidewalk.
- Fireworks that explode or take off are illegal in Minneapolis. Examples include firecrackers, bottle rockets, missiles, roman candles, mortars and shells.
- It is illegal to use any fireworks on public property including roads, alleys, schools, and parks.
- To report illegal fireworks, call 911. Callers should provide the exact address and a description of the person or people setting off the fireworks. Please note that 911 and law enforcement can be very busy on summer evenings, especially July 4, and it may take longer to respond to fireworks calls.
Published Jun. 28, 2012