Senator Dan Brown’s Legislative Column


In less than two weeks, on July 4, Americans across the world will celebrate the 241st anniversary of our adoption of the Declaration of Independence, a document whose principles form the foundation for many of the freedoms and liberties we enjoy today.

Many of us celebrate Independence Day by participating in a number of activities, including watching and setting off fireworks. And as we prepare for this great celebration, we must be cautious and aware of the dangerous risks of handling fireworks.

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is a federal agency charged with protecting us from injuries involving consumer products, such as fireworks. According to the Commission, 230 people on average seek medical care for injuries related to fireworks around Independence Day — more than 50% of injuries are burns. Moreover, during 2015, people from 15 to 19 years old had the highest rate of emergency room visits for fireworks-related injuries; children from 5 to 9 years old had the second highest rate.

Because fireworks-related injuries are no fun and can spoil the enjoyment of spending time with loved ones outside, some of the Commission’s safety tips include:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks;
  • Never place any body parts over fireworks while lighting them, and immediately get out of the way after lighting them;
  • Never point fireworks at another person; and
  • Keep a garden hose or a large bucket of water nearby in case of fire.

Of course Independence Day celebrations are more than fireworks. We also bring out the charcoal and the propane, drive to the beach or prepare for hiking and camping. The Red Cross has great safety tips for the upcoming holiday. For example, one should never leave a barbecue grill unattended while in use, and always keep the grill away from the house and tree branches. It is also important that we be aware of weather conditions and rip currents, which move away from the shore, and make sure our young children wear life jackets when swimming.

I want everyone to enjoy the holiday and be safe. Understanding the dangerous risks and observing the safety tips will help achieve that.

As always, I encourage my constituents to contact me throughout the year with comments, questions or suggestions by calling my office at (573) 751-5713. To find more information about the bills I sponsored, visit Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.