Authorities Give Fireworks Safety Tips for 4th of July Weekend
It’s that time of the year again, where families gather together to celebrate one of America’s grandest holidays, Independence Day. And of course, it wouldn’t be a traditional celebration without fireworks. But, where there’s fireworks, there’s also potential danger.
“Roughly 73 injuries are reported each year within the state of Minnesota that are related to fireworks,” says Bemidji Fire Chief Justin Sherwood. “In order to prevent from being a statistic, one would use common sense.”
Sherwood advises not lighting fireworks or novelty items under the influence of alcohol, and to light fireworks one at a time. You should light fireworks in a safe area away from people, structures, and animals.
Fireworks should also not be placed in pockets and should not be lit while smoking cigarettes. Another thing to remember during this holiday weekend is to also be mindful and respectful of neighbors.
Some calls that first responders receive around this time of year are complaints of unlawful fireworks. Beltrami County Sheriff Ernie Beitel says that any firework that leaves the ground is considered an “unlawful” firework, something to keep in mind when purchasing or lighting them.
Sherwood would also like to remind the public that local authorities are short staffed. He encourages everyone this weekend to follow these simple safety precautions to avoid any emergency visits or potential fires. The goal is to have fun, be safe, and be smart.
In Bemidji, the annual fireworks display will be held on Monday, July 4th at dusk over Lake Bemidji.