June 26, 2015

Missouri’s many public fireworks displays provide the biggest thrills and are safest way to enjoy Independence Day fireworks

Even smaller consumer fireworks present hazard, particularly to children

As the nation prepares to celebrate the July 4th weekend, the Division of Fire Safety reminds Missourians that public fireworks displays put on by trained professionals offer the most spectacular sights and are the safest way to enjoy fireworks. Across the U.S., Independence Day is the biggest day of the year for fireworks – and the day when the largest number of fires and injuries caused by fireworks occur.


“Fireworks safety should be one of the top considerations for all Missourians as we gather to celebrate the July 4th holiday,” Acting State Fire Marshal Greg Carrell said. “I encourage families to take advantage of the many thrilling free public fireworks shows around the state. People who choose to use consumer fireworks should be aware of the risk of injury – particularly to children – and the potential fire hazards, and take the necessary precautions.”


A 2013 U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission study of fireworks injuries during the month around July 4 (June 21 - July 21) revealed some startling facts about fireworks injuries across the nation


  • On average, 240 people go to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries in the month around July 4th.
  • About 40 percent of fireworks injuries were to children 14 and younger.
  • Smaller fireworks led to the most injuries of any categories of fireworks: sparklers, 31 percent; firecrackers, 11 percent.


Fireworks sales at licensed seasonal retailers are legal in Missouri from June 20 to July 10.  This year, the Division of Fire Safety has licensed more than 1,150 seasonal retailers. State permits should be displayed at all seasonal retail locations. Missourians who choose to use consumer fireworks should be aware of any local ordinances related to fireworks, and should follow basic safety practices:


  • Always keep young children away from fireworks. If teens are permitted to handle fireworks they should be closely supervised by an adult.
  • Only light one firework at a time; never try to re-light fireworks that have malfunctioned.
  • Make sure to have a garden hose or a bucket of water nearby in case of a fire.
  • Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water and leaving them in a trash can.
  • Only use fireworks in a large open space that has been cleared of flammable materials. Never light fireworks indoors. Never shoot them off in a glass container.
  • Don't use fireworks while consuming alcohol.
  • Always wear eye protection; use earplugs if you have sensitive ears.
  • Never have any part of your body over fireworks.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place. Don't save fireworks from season to season.
  • Purchase fireworks only from a properly licensed retailer.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your locality before buying them.


Anyone with concerns about a fireworks dealer or the types of fireworks being sold by a dealer should call the Division of Fire Safety at (573) 751-2930.