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COOK COUNTY CONNECTIONS: Practice Fireworks Safety this Fourth of July

Jul 02, 2021 01:00PM ● By Editor

By Mike Keyport, Emergency Management Director of Cook County MN - July 2, 2021

 

Minnesotans celebrate our nation’s independence each year on July 4 with parades, backyard barbecues, family get togethers, camping, campfires and, yes, fireworks!

Did you know?

  • More than 30 percent of fireworks injuries are from sparklers.
  • There is an average of 75 hospital visits each year in Minnesota due to fireworks injuries.
  • Nearly 45 percent of fireworks injuries each year happen to children.
  • Fireworks that explode or shoot into the air are illegal in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department Public Safety and State Fire Marshal’s office recommends some things to keep in mind if you choose to use fireworks:

  • Fireworks that fly or explode are illegal in Minnesota. Don’t use them.
  • Legal fireworks can be just as dangerous. Sparklers can burn up to 1,200 degrees.
  • Before you touch flame to anything, read the instructions first.
  • Always have an adult present and keep fireworks away from small children.
  • Make sure said adult is not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Choose a place away from animals, buildings, storage tanks and any combustibles.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby for storing spent sparkler wires and extinguishing other combustibles.
  • Light only one device at a time.
  • Never try to relight a firework that doesn’t ignite the first time.  Put it in the water bucket instead.
  • If a firework looks damaged, don’t use it put that in the bucket too.

Please don’t forget about your beloved family pets. Some pets don’t like the loud noise or bright lights. Each year many pets go astray or come up missing because of fireworks. Keep them as safe as you would yourself and your other family members.

Most importantly, remember that even with the best of precautions, you are dealing with incendiary devices that burn at hundreds if not thousands of degrees.  They’re dangerous by definition. Leaving the fireworks displays to the professionals will make sure you won’t spend the holiday in the emergency room or with the fire department. It will assure your Fourth of July is safer and more fun.

The Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s office webpage is a good resource for more information at sfm.dps.mn.gov. You can also like the State Fire Marshal Facebook page for great fire safety information all year long.

Enjoy the long Fourth of July holiday weekend while keeping safety in mind.

County Connections is a column on timely topics and service information from your Cook County government. Cook County – Supporting Community Through Quality Public Service

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