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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
With the 4th of July holiday nearly upon us, area fire departments are joining together to warn citizens about the dangers of fireworks. Despite recent rains, most of Southwest Missouri is still abnormally dry, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center. This increases the risk of fires due to the use of fireworks. With that in mind, the Queen City Fire Chiefs ask citizens to remember the following this upcoming holiday:
•In the city limits of Springfield, fireworks are prohibited. Novelty items such as small sparklers, snappers, party poppers and snakes are allowed, but should be handled with care.•Fireworks are also prohibited within the city limits of Rogersville.•In Nixa, the discharge of fireworks is permitted on July 4 only between the hours of 2:00 p.m. 11:00 p.m. •In Battlefield, consumer fireworks may be set off from July 1 to the 6th only and between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. On the 4th of July, fireworks may be used until midnight.•In Willard, fireworks are permitted beginning at noon on July 4th and must be completed by 12:30 a.m. on July 5.•In Ozark, fireworks may be discharged on July 2 and 3 from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. and on July 4 and 5 from 9:00 a.m. until midnight. •In Republic, fireworks can only be discharged on the 4th of July between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and midnight.
Despite varying ordinances, the Queen City Fire Chiefs agree fireworks are best left to the professionals. In a typical year, more U.S. fires are reported on Independence Day than on any other day, and fireworks account for half of those fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, each year, fireworks cause more than 15,000 reported fires, including structure fires, vehicle fires, and outside fires.
In addition to fires, fireworks can also cause injuries including serious burn and eye injuries. In 2013, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks related injuries; 55% of 2014 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 38% were to the head. The risk of fireworks injury was highest for young people ages 0-4, followed by children 10-14.
If you do decide on setting off fireworks, please remember the following tips:
• Even sparklers can be dangerous. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals. In 2010, there were an estimated 1,200 injuries associated with sparklers, according to CPSC.• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.• Supervise children properly. Never allow them to play with or ignite fireworks. Educate them about the dangers of fireworks.• The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals. • After the firework display, children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, they may still be active.
Ordinances will be enforced in areas where fireworks are not allowed. All fireworks will be confiscated and tickets may be issued.
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