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Examiner
  • 5 Things to Know About: Fireworks safety

  • The city of Independence is planning to issue a burn ban in the next several days, and while the ban won’t affect consumer fireworks sales, the dry conditions will make it dangerous to use them, a Fire Department official said Monday.

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  • The city of Independence is planning to issue a burn ban in the next several days, and while the ban won’t affect consumer fireworks sales, the dry conditions will make it dangerous to use them, a Fire Department official said Monday.
    “The safest way to enjoy fireworks is attend a public display conducted by trained professionals,” Independence Fire Department Capt. Richelle Basgall said at the City Council study session, “but it would be irresponsible of the Independence Fire Department to believe that everyone is going to follow that suggestion.
    “... So, by all means, celebrate the birth of American independence, celebrate the Fourth of July, but please do it safely.”
    Basgall provided the following safety tips regarding the sale and use of fireworks in Independence:
    1. Class 1.4G fireworks. Class 1.4G fireworks, also known as consumer fireworks, are most commonly sold at neighborhood stands during the Fourth of July season. While the sale of fireworks has already begun, Independence citizens may only shoot off fireworks July 3 and 5 (next Tuesday and Thursday) from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and July 4 (next Wednesday) from 10 a.m. to midnight.
    2. Legal vs. illegal. It’s illegal to possess, store, handle or use the following types of fireworks in Independence: bottle rockets, aerial missiles or similar devices; sparkler bombs; altered fireworks; and combined fireworks.
    Also, do not allow your fireworks to land on other peoples’ property, and don’t throw them from a vehicle, at a vehicle or under a vehicle. You must keep them at least 600 feet away from churches, hospitals, mental health facilities and schools. They also must be kept at least 100 feet away from where fireworks are stored, for sale or a designated historic site.
    3. Age is key. The National Fire Protection Agency states the risk of injury from fireworks is highest for children ages 5 through 14. Children younger than 16, in Independence, may not possess or discharge fireworks except under the supervision of a parent or guardian.
    “And the adult really needs to be right there with the child,” Basgall said.
    4. Sparklers. According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, in 2011, 16 percent of reported injuries around the Fourth of July were caused by sparklers. The tip of a sparkler, Basgall said, is hot enough to cause third-degree burns.
    Show children how to hold sparklers away from their bodies and at arm’s length. Always remain standing while using a sparkler, and stand at least 6 feet away from another person with a sparkler. Hold one at a time, and do not hand a lighted sparkler to another person.
    “Sparkler wires and sticks remain hot long after the flame has gone out,” she said, “so be sure to drop dispensed sparklers into a bucket of water that you are keeping nearby. Remember, sparklers start around 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.”
    Page 2 of 2 - 5. Keep the basics in mind. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place. Only ignite fireworks outside. Most importantly, keep a water source or garden hose close, Basgall said.
    “According to the extended weather forecast, it looks like there will be no significant rainfall in the next 10 days,” she said. “Therefore, it’s going to be very dry on and around the Fourth of July, so please, keep a water source or garden hose handy.”

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