Cook County Connections: Fireworks SafetyJun 30, 2023 08:53AM ● By Content Editor
From Cook County, MN - June 30, 2023
By: Mike Keyport, Cook County Emergency Management Director
Minnesotans celebrate our nation’s independence each year on July Fourth with parades, backyard barbecues, family get-togethers, camping, campfires, and yes, fireworks!
Did you know?
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.
Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees, hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping them on their feet. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers alone account for more than 25 percent of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries. Consider safer alternatives such as glow sticks, confetti poppers or colored streamers.
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.
- 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 water 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 your fourth of July safer and more fun and make it much more likely that you won’t spend the holiday in the Emergency Room or with the fire department.
The Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s office webpage a good resource for more information at sfm.dps.mn.gov and like their Facebook page for great fire safety information all year long.
The best advice is to grab a blanket and a patch of lawn, kick back and let the experts handle the fireworks show. Enjoy the fourth of July holiday 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.