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Fourth of July
Fourth of July
Celebrate safely this Fourth of July
By Mende Barnett, Education Consultant for the Office of the State Fire Marshal

We’re feeling the heat of Summer, and along with it many of us will also experience the heat of fireworks celebrations as we enjoy Fourth of July festivities with our friends and families. While fireworks are used as part of the holiday celebration, it is important to remember that fireworks can be dangerous if not handled properly. 

Unfortunately, statistics indicate nearly half of all fireworks injuries in Kansas during 2014 occurred to children under the age of 18 with burns being the primary type of injury. Hospitals reported a total of 158 fireworks-related injuries, with 47% of all such injuries during the entire year occurring on July 4. Thirty-nine percent of the injuries were to the hand, while thirty-four percent were to the face or eyes. 

“While shooting your own fireworks can be a thrill, they can also cause serious injuries and fires if not handled properly,” says Doug Jorgensen, Fire Marshal for the State of Kansas. “The safest approach to enjoying fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays conducted by trained professionals who know how to properly handle fireworks. We want all our Kansas kids to enjoy this Summer’s fun and festivities as safely as possible.” 

To help the public celebrate safely, the Office of the State Fire Marshal offers the following tips for the safe use of fireworks:
- Always purchase high quality fireworks from reliable and legitimate sources
- Always read and follow label directions
- Have an adult supervise all fireworks activities
- Always ignite fireworks outdoors
- Have water nearby
- Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks
- Light only one firework at a time
- Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks
- Never give fireworks to small children
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place
- Dispose of fireworks properly
- Never throw fireworks at another person
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket
- Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers

In addition, bottle rockets and M80s are dangerous and illegal in the state of Kansas. The use or sale of these banned fireworks is considered a crime under Kansas law.


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