MISSOULA – The big 4th of July holiday is just around the corner and the Missoula Rural Fire District (MRFD) is offering up some advice on how to stay safe around fireworks.
MRFD Captain Ron Lubke notes that even though it is still green outside, the fire danger is beginning to climb.
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Fireworks — which are sold in Montana from June 24 through July 5 — pose a significant fire and injury hazard if used improperly.
It should be noted that fireworks are illegal inside Missoula city limits with the exception of permitted professional displays.
The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office further notes that fireworks are also not allowed on city open space lands; on all U.S. Forest Service lands; within Missoula County parks and Missoula County managed recreation areas and at all Fish, Wildlife & Parks fishing access sites.
Here are some safety rules to follow so that your celebration remains safe and happy:
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks. Remember, most fireworks are illegal in the city of Missoula. Fireworks are legal in the county on private property but are not permitted on public property or state and federal lands.
- Know your fireworks; read the warning labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to young children and always supervise older children.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show or have a designated ignitor.
- Never aim fireworks at other people. Be sure to ignite them on a sturdy solid surface where they are not likely to tip over.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings and vehicles. Never ignite fireworks indoors.
- Never try to relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water or a hose nearby.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and placing them in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials.
Lubke adds that if your Independence Day celebration involves a campfire, make sure to monitor your fire while it is burning and that it is completely dead out before leaving it.