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Be safe with fireworks, Mid-Missourians reminded

Be safe with fireworks, Mid-Missourians reminded

June 26th, 2017 by Rebecca Martin in Local News

Casper Hocking looks at fireworks at a stand off of U.S. Route 54 West in Jefferson City on Thursday, June 22, 2017. Hocking said shooting fireworks is a Fourth of July tradition that he looks forward to every year.

Photo by Shelby Kardell /News Tribune.

Fireworks stands opened for the Independence Day season last week, and area law enforcement officials are reminding residents to use fireworks safely and legally.

Missouri permits temporary fireworks retailers to set up shop from June 20 through July 10 during the summer. Jefferson City has prohibited sale of fireworks within city limits since 2014, although several fireworks sellers operate just outside city limits and in other areas of Cole County.

The Jefferson City Police Department has responded to 10 fireworks-related calls so far this year, after taking a total 199 fireworks calls from June through August 2016, most of which occurred in the weeks surrounding the July 4 holiday, JCPD Capt. Doug Shoemaker said.

Jefferson City Fire Department spokesman Jason Turner said his department has not yet responded to any fireworks-related incidents this year.

"It has been quiet, but I'm sure that between police and fire we'll get complaints between now and the Fourth of July," Turner said.

While Jefferson City allows use of "party favor" type fireworks such as "bang snaps" and party poppers, those permitted items do not include sparklers or any other consumer fireworks. Residents are also prohibited from releasing sky lanterns inside city limits.

Turner encouraged any Jefferson City residents with concerns about use of fireworks in the area to contact JCFD.

Cole County does not regulate use of fireworks in unincorporated areas past Missouri's statewide peace disturbance statute.

Across the river, Holts Summit allows certain times for residents inside city limits to create their own consumer-grade fireworks shows around Independence Day. Those times include 6-10 p.m. June 20-30, 1-11 p.m. July 1-3, 10 a.m.-midnight July 4 and 6-10 p.m. July 5-10.

"It's a very patriotic time. Fireworks are considered one of those patriotic things to do," Holts Summit City Administrator Rick Hess said. 

"Just be safe, use common sense, and make sure that you've got water at hand in case one goes errant and starts a fire."

Callaway County does not regulate use of fireworks in unincorporated areas past what state law allows.

Fireworks safety tips from the State Fire Marshal's office include:

Purchase fireworks from a properly licensed retailer.

Light only one firework at a time.

Keep young children away from fireworks.

Never throw or point fireworks at other people.

Never carry fireworks in your pocket.

Have water nearby in case of fire.

Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water before throwing them in a trash can.

Don't use fireworks while consuming alcohol.

"More than anything, we encourage people to go to the public displays," Turner said.

Jefferson City's annual Salute to America fireworks show is scheduled around 9:15 p.m. July 4.