Independence Fire Chief Sandy Schiess wants the city’s residents to celebrate the United States of America’s 234th birthday safely.

Independence Fire Chief Sandy Schiess wants the city’s residents to celebrate the United States of America’s 234th birthday safely.

Schiess presented several rules and regulations at Monday night’s Independence City Council meeting to remind fireworks users of what is allowed within Independence city limits. The use of Class 1.4G fireworks (consumer-class fireworks) is allowed from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Monday and from 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday.

Bottle rockets, aerial missiles, sparkler bombs and any altered or combined fireworks are prohibited in Independence, Schiess said.  

This marks the second consecutive year that the city of Independence has allowed residential fireworks sales and usage. The city allows only nonprofit organizations to apply for the 13 licenses available to fireworks vendors, a city-issued number based on population.

Residents must be at least 16 years old to operate fireworks in an unsupervised setting in Independence. They also must shoot fireworks only on their property, and the fireworks’ results must remain on their property, not in city streets or parks, Schiess said.

Schiess offered the following fireworks safety tips and said that many more are available at www.indepmo.org/fire and in pamphlets at all fireworks sales stands in Independence:

 Read, understand, and then follow directions on each specific fireworks purchase, including the warning labels.   

 

 Only ignite fireworks outside, and store them in a cool, dry place prior to use.

 

 Keep a bucket of water or an operating garden hose nearby.

 

 Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface or as the instructions say to do so. Keep away from structures and flammable or combustible materials.

 

 Be sure other people and animals are out of range before lighting fireworks. Light one at a time, and use a punk or an extended butane lighting device.


In 2009, Centerpoint Medical Center reported two fireworks-related walk-in injuries, though it is unknown if those affected lived in Independence or if the injuries even occurred in Independence, Schiess said. She said the Independence Fire Department did not respond to any fireworks-related medical emergencies last year.  

However, the Fire Department did respond to three residential structure fires in which evidence suggested they were a result of fireworks, Schiess said.

At-Large Council Member Lucy Young asked residents to be considerate of their neighbors while shooting off fireworks this Fourth of July holiday.

“My father was a shell shock victim, and he hated fireworks,” Young said. “Within your neighborhood, you probably know people that don’t want to hear the fireworks, so if you could just take your celebration and consider what they really aren’t happy with, maybe you can make a nice celebration where you get fireworks and they don’t have to listen to it as much.”