Are you aware that fireworks ordinances vary throughout St. Charles County? Laws about when and how fireworks can be discharged differ depending on whether you live in unincorporated county or a municipality. Watch this video on SCCMO-TV’s YouTube channel to learn more. To report unlawful use of fireworks, contact your law enforcement agency.
Along with being mindful of ordinances, it’s important to stay safe around fireworks. Their unpredictable nature can cause serious injuries and fires, as well as scared or runaway pets. The St. Charles County Department of Public Health offers the following important information regarding fireworks:
- Every year, thousands of Americans end up celebrating Independence Day in hospital emergency rooms with firework-related injuries. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, on average, 180 people go to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries every day in the month around the Fourth of July. There were an estimated 10,000 fireworks-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in all of 2019, and children younger than 15 accounted for 36 percent of the injuries. Parts of the body most often injured were hands, fingers, legs and eyes.
- In addition to injuries, sparks from fireworks are responsible for costly fire damage. In 2018, the National Fire Protection Association reported that fireworks started an average of 19,500 fires, sparking homes, vehicles and lawns. These unintended fires caused numerous injuries and more than $105 million in property damage.
- If using fireworks is permitted in your neighborhood, make certain to store and light them properly. Read and review all manufacturer warnings and instructions before purchasing and using fireworks. The American Pyrotechnics Associationoffers these additional safety tips:
- Fireworks should be lit by adults wearing safety glasses. Even sparklers are dangerous as they can reach 2,000 degrees.
- Keep spectators at a safe distance.
- Only buy fireworks form a licensed store, stand or tent.
- Light fireworks one at a time on a smooth, flat surface away from people. Do not light them inside a container, especially a glass or metal container that may explode.
- Set off fireworks in a clear area away from homes, dry leaves or other flammable material.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to collect spent fireworks or to soak unexploded devices. Do not attempt to re-light “duds” or malfunctioning fireworks.
- Fireworks can scare pets. The St. Charles County Pet Adoption Centerand other local shelters experience an increase in the number of impounded pets, as unexplained loud noises can cause dogs and cats to escape from homes and yards. The Center recommends the following to keep your pet safe:
- Keep your dog or cat calm during the holiday week by bringing them indoors to a secure location. Keep them distracted with toys and by providing lots of love and attention.
- Make sure your pet has an identification tag and/or updated microchip information in the event it runs away.
- Be aware that many fireworks and residue can include toxic substances and metals that could burn your pet’s paws or fur and cause serious harm if ingested.