Local law enforcement officials are reminding residents of the dangers of fireworks this Fourth of July holiday.
Each year officers are called to several firework incidents, said Sedalia Police Department Chief John DeGonia.
“Fireworks are an explosive device, they’re a fire hazard and they’re dangerous, plain and simple,” he said. “Each year there are several reported accidents, most of them burns.”
Shooting fireworks is also illegal within the city limits, DeGonia said, and may result in a $109 fine.
“We know officers can’t be in every place at once, but if we do get calls of people shooting off fireworks in the city, we will respond to them,” he said. “If you absolutely want to or have to shoot fireworks, it’s legal to do so in the county.”
According to the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office, those that do wish to shoot fireworks are reminded to:
• Use common sense. Young children should never play with fireworks and older children should be kept under close adult supervision.
• Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
• Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that don’t go off.
• Avoid alcohol and fireworks. Have a “designated shooter.”
• Light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from any homes, dry leaves or flammable materials. Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
• Be sure others are safely out of the way while shooting fireworks, which can backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction.
• Do not re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Douse them in water and throw them away.
Sparklers can also cause serious safety concerns. The National Council on Fireworks Safety estimates approximately 16 percent of all fireworks injuries are caused by sparklers burning hands and legs, with the majority of injuries occurring in young children. The council reminds residents to:
• Never hold a child while using sparklers and never light or hold more than one at a time.
• Never give a lighted sparkler to another person. Give them an unlit sparkler and then light it. Also, those holding sparklers should stay 6 feet away from each other at all times.
• Remember sparkler wires and sticks can remain hot after the flame has gone out. Spent sparklers should be dropped into a bucket of water to cool them completely.
“We want people to enjoy the holiday and have a good time but also for everyone to keep safety in mind (today),” DeGonia said.
It's the law
City ordinance states: “No person shall buy, sell, display or discharge any firecrackers, cannon crackers, aerial bombs, torpedoes, rockets, Roman candles, flares or fireworks of any kind or description or any pyrotechnic material within the city limits.” Those wishing to shoot off fireworks may do so in the county or attend the free fireworks display at 9:15 p.m. today on the Missouri State