Mankato-Public Safety is asking the public to practice safety when using fireworks this summer. Fireworks are among the most popular traditions for celebrating events, especially the Fourth of July. With widespread cancellations of community Independence Day events due to COVID-19, public safety staff anticipate an increase in consumer firework use as residents bring the celebrations into their backyards.
Fireworks are associated with many injuries each year, including sparklers, which account for the largest number of injuries according to the National Fire Protection Association. State law prohibits the possession and use of firecrackers, skyrockets, Roman candles, daygo bombs, and the type of lanterns that require fire to propel them. Consumer fireworks may not be used on public property such as parks, schools, roads and alleys.
The following safety guidelines offer tips to reduce firework injuries, fires and nuisance complaints:
- Read, understand and follow the instructions on each device prior to using.
- Use fireworks with close adult supervision.
- Choose a safe place to use fireworks that is far from anything that could be damaged from the normal or abnormal operation of any device. Fireworks should only be ignited outdoors and away from animals, buildings, storage tanks, brush or combustible materials.
- Anyone acting in an irresponsible manner or who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or other drugs should not handle or discharge fireworks.
- Keep fireworks away from small children and store them in a cool dry location away from sources of ignition (heat and flames). Fireworks should not be allowed to become wet and should not be used when dried after becoming wet.
- Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or on your person.
- Lit cigarettes, cigars, pipes or open flames should be kept away from fireworks that are for sale or when stored.
- Eye protection is recommended for those using fireworks. Never throw fireworks or aim them at another person, animal or building.
- Only light one firework device at a time, then move away from the device quickly. Keep clear of any device that has been ignited, but has yet to go off.
- If a firework device has been ignited but fails to go off, stay clear of the device for an extended period of time to prevent injury due to delayed activation. Soak the device in water before handling it.
- Never place any part of your body, especially your head, over the firework device when lighting. Approach the item from the side and light while keeping your body away from the item.
- Never relight malfunctioning fireworks. Report any defects back to the seller or the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Never experiment with fireworks, make your own fireworks, or alter fireworks in any manner (a strong federal prohibition exists for such activity).
Illegal firework use should be reported by calling 911.