June 20, 2019

State Fire Marshal urges Missourians to think of safety first as July 4th fireworks sales begin

Fireworks sales at season retailers are legal in state from June 20 to July 10

Across the nation, July 4th is not only the busiest day of the year for fireworks, it’s the busiest day of the year for fires. It’s no coincidence.

“The week of July 4th is a very busy time for fire departments across Missouri, and it’s because of fires and injuries caused by fireworks,” State Fire Marshal Tim Bean said. “Remember, the most spectacular sights will always be at public fireworks displays, which are also the safest for people and do not threaten to start fires and damage property.”

About 40 percent of Independence Day structure fires are the result of fireworks, according to the National Fire Protection Association. About 250 people go to emergency rooms each day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around July 4th. Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires a year.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, across the U.S. in 2017:

  • Eight people died as the result of fireworks (seven from direct fireworks impacts and one in a house fire caused by a firecracker).
  • 12,900 injuries were treated in hospital emergency departments.
  • An estimated 1,200 emergency department-treated injuries were attributed to sparklers and 300 to bottle rockets.
  • Children under 15 years of age accounted for 36 percent of the 2017 injuries.

Missourians who choose to use consumer fireworks should follow these safety tips:

  • Confirm fireworks are legal where you live; purchase fireworks only from licensed retailers.
  • 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 fireworks one at a time; never try to re-light fireworks that have malfunctioned
  • Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water and leaving them in a trash can.
  • Never shoot fireworks off from a glass jar or container.
  • Never use fireworks while consuming alcohol.
  • Never store fireworks from season to season.

Fireworks sales at licensed seasonal retailers are legal in Missouri from June 20 to July 10. Through June 18, the Division of Fire Safety had issued 1,255 permits to seasonal fireworks retailers.

DFS conducts safety inspections at fireworks retailers, including checking to make sure they sell only legally-permitted consumer fireworks, that they have at least two exits, are equipped with fire extinguishers, and that fireworks tents have been treated with fire retardant chemicals.

For questions or concerns about firework safety, firework rules, or firework dealers can contact the Division of Fire Safety at (573) 751-2930. More fireworks safety tips are available at



For more information, call 573-751-5432 or e-mail