Weekly Column for July 1, 2019
The Fourth of July is almost here, and many of us find ourselves planning the last minute details for barbecues and celebrations with our family and friends. This important holiday also provides us with the opportunity to reflect on the freedoms and liberties guaranteed to us through the Constitution and defended by those who have worn our country’s uniform.
While many of us will be celebrating the birth of our country, it’s also important to keep your family and friends safe during the holiday. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year. In 2015, U.S. hospital rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for injuries caused by fireworks. Below are several safety tips from the Missouri fire marshal intended to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.
- Confirm fireworks are legal where you live; purchase fireworks only from a properly licensed retailer.
- Only use fireworks in a large, open space that has been cleared of flammable materials.
- Always keep young children away from fireworks; if teens are permitted to handle fireworks, they should be closely supervised by an adult—always wear eye protection.
- Make sure to have a garden hose or a bucket of water nearby in case of a fire.
- Only light one firework at a time; never try to relight fireworks that have malfunctioned.
- Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water and leaving them in a trash can.
- Never shoot fireworks from a glass jar or container.
- Never use fireworks while consuming alcohol.
- Never store fireworks from season to season.
Also, remember that your pets may not be used to fireworks and may need to be brought inside to prevent injury or unnecessary stress. If you have any questions regarding firework safety or rules, contact the Missouri Division of Fire Safety at (573) 751-2930.
It is an honor to serve you in the Missouri Senate. Please do not hesitate to contact my office at (573) 751-3678 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.