COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, Boone County fire officials ask residents and visitors planning to shoot off fireworks this year, to do so safely.
Gale Blomenkamp, the Boone County Fire Protection District assistant chief, says every year crews get called out to at least one firework injury or fire caused by fireworks.
"The one common theme that you're going to find with all fireworks is to use under adult supervision, close adult supervision," Blomenkamp said. "When they say that, that means sober, adult supervision."
Blomenkamp says make sure to also read and follow the manufacturer's instructions on the firework package. He says these accidents are avoidable.
"Make sure the tube can't fall over when it's being shot off - that's what we see a lot of times," Blomenkamp said. "If you're doing it from a driveway and your driveway sloped has a tendency to lean one way or the other - not a good idea."
Never pick up a firework or firecracker because even the smallest can cause serious burns.
The only time you should hold a firework is if its a sparkler, but even a sparkler like this can cause a serious burn.
"The only thing that you really do hold as a sparkler-type firework and, you know, those are things that kids usually use, but you got to remember those things burn, upwards of 1,500 to 2,000 degrees, so they can cause burns, obviously," Blomenkamp said.
In the state of Missouri, you must be 14 years or older to buy fireworks unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
According to a career data collection website called Zippa, Missouri shoots off the most fireworks in the United States.
Remember fireworks are illegal to posses in the City of Columbia and can result in a misdemeanor charge.