Make it a safe Fourth of July

Purchasing or setting off fireworks is illegal in Marion County without a permit.

If you are in a position to celebrate with fireworks, the state fire marshall has a reminder: Fireworks also are dangerous.

Last year, the state fire marshal?s office received reports of 169 persons injured by fireworks during the last week of June and first week of July. Of those, more than 8 percent were injuries to the head and eyes and 60 injuries were to children age 10 and under.

Nationally, more than 3,000 children age 14 and under are treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries, and children 10 to 14 account for most of these accidents.

Sparklers, while often considered the safest type of fireworks, join firecrackers and rockets as those causing the bulk of injuries treated in emergency rooms.

Kansas Fire Marshal Gale Haag and the Kansas Fireworks Association recommend the following safety rules:

— Purchase from reliable dealers only fireworks approved for sale in Kansas.

— Obey all local laws and ordinances. Be especially careful in populated and dry, open-field areas.

— Read and follow instructions printed on packaging.

— Never allow small children to use fireworks without adult supervision.

— Use fireworks only in clear areas, away from streets, buildings, or dry grass.

— Keep everyone at a safe distance after each firework is lit.

— Do not attempt to re-light any fireworks that fail to discharge. Allow sufficient time to ignite, and then dispose of it in a safe manner.

— Never shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers.

— Never point or throw fireworks at people or animals.

Haag?s office also offers several things people need to be aware of when purchasing fireworks in Kansas:

— Common fireworks (Class C fireworks) may be lawfully sold in Kansas June 26 through July 5. Local jurisdictions may be more restrictive of sale dates, but they cannot extend the sale dates.

— All common fireworks (Class C or explosive 1.4G) are required to be labeled as such or labeled with the number UNO335.

— Bottle rockets and similar devices are unlawful to possess or sell.

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