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Fireworks ordinances vary

Fireworks is a tradition when celebrating the 4th of July and many Americans indulge in the festivities each year.

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, on average 230 people go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.

Each year, the Missouri Department of Public Safety issues permits to more than 1,200 seasonal retailers to sell consumer fireworks to the public. These permit holders can legally sell to the public from June 20 to July 10 and from Dec. 20 to Jan. 2. Division investigators and inspectors conduct random inspections of these retailers during these limited seasons.

Consumer fireworks include cone fountains, cylindrical fountains, roman candles, sky rockets, firecrackers, mines and shells, helicopter-type rockets, certain sparklers and revolving wheels.

In St. Francois County, city ordinances on fireworks vary.

The ordinance for the city of Farmington states the possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling and use of fireworks are prohibited in city limits.

The only exception in the Farmington ordinance is the possession and use of small Division 1.4G fireworks – limited to poppers, snappers and smoke devices conforming to all other local, State and Federal requirements.

The ordinance also states a fire prevention permit may be issued for a maximum period of 24 consecutive hours for the possession and use of fireworks for the purpose of organized public fireworks exhibitions and should meet all applicable requirements of this code and all applicable state and federal requirements. In addition to review and approval by the fire inspector, such fire prevention permits shall be signed by the mayor or the president pro tem of the council in absence of the mayor.

In the city of Bonne Terre it is unlawful for any person to throw, place or use any fireworks, including pyrotechnic devices, in such manner that the explosive would endanger or cause injury or damage to any person or property. Fireworks are allowed to be shot off in city limits between June 15 and July 15 each year and only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.

The city of Desloge allows fireworks to be shot within city limits July 3-6 between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. The fireworks can only be shot off private property and not on public streets, parks or other public property unless approved by a resolution by the board of aldermen.

The city of Leadington recently made two major changes to their ordinance regarding fireworks in the city limits. First, the city had previously set the dates of July 3-6, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., for fireworks to be sold and discharged. The new ordinance expands the dates from July 3-10. The second change requires that a person be 18 years of age or older to purchase and set off fireworks within the city limits without adult supervision.

The city of Bismarck requires residents to obtain a permission slip from city hall to shoot fireworks on their own property. There is no charge for the permit, it’s so residents know the regulations, dates and times they are allowed to use them. Fireworks, excluding bottle rockets and similar fireworks, can be shot off June 29 through July 5 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. except for 4th of July, where the time is extended to 11 p.m. that evening.

In Park Hills, fireworks may be set off between June 20 and July 10, with varying curfews depending on the day of week. Monday through Thursday, fireworks may be set off from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays fireworks may be set off from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. On Sundays, fireworks may be set off from noon to 10 p.m. Fireworks can only be set off on private property, and only with the permission of the property owner. Fireworks cannot be set off within 600 feet of a church, hospital, mental health facility or school; or within 100 feet of any location where fireworks are stored or sold; or within 300 feet of permanent gasoline/ignitable liquid storage or a non-permanent structure where fireworks are stored or sold.

Fireworks may be shot off in Leadwood between June 10 and July 11 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Iron Mountain Lake allows fireworks to be shot off July 3-5 from 10 a.m. to midnight each day.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission recommends following these safety tips when using fireworks:

– Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

– Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.

– Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.

– Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

– Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.

– Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

– Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.

– Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.

– Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

– After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

– Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

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