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Our Opinion: don't get burned this Fourth of July

Fireworks ignite both legal and safety issues.

The legal issues are fairly straightforward. Discharging fireworks is prohibited in Jefferson City.

The only exception is for property owners of five or more acres who apply for and receive a permit to discharge Class C fireworks.

For anyone curious about the reappearance of commercial fireworks stands in certain locations, an explanation exists. The commercial sale of fireworks may continue for up to seven years in areas annexed by Jefferson City, if the area was a legal location for fireworks sales in the year preceding annexation.

Local fire and police officials advise they will be enforcing fireworks ordinances.

They urge people who legally are permitted to discharge fireworks to follow safety precautions.

Because of dry conditions experienced in Central Missouri, foremost among their precautions is to avoid using fireworks in wooded areas and fields.

Among other precautions:

• Never point projectiles near structures or people.

• Supervise children at all times where fireworks are being discharged. Never allow children to discharge fireworks or handle sparklers, which can cause burns.

• Avoid handling or attempting to relight duds for malfunctioning fireworks.

• Have water nearby in case of a fire or an accident.

Accidents and negligence account for between 7,000 and 11,000 fireworks-related injuries each year.

Safety officials agree preventing accidents starts with common sense. Celebrate safety this Fourth of July.

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