Police Remind of Fireworks Laws, Experts Offer Safety Tips

By Jonathan Cooper | jcooper@kq2.com

Published 07/01 2014 09:28PM

Updated 07/02 2014 10:52AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) They may be bright, colorful and beautiful, but the St. Joseph Police Department is reminding people that some fireworks are illegal within city limits.

"If it goes up in the air and goes bang, it's illegal in St. Joe," said Caleb Carter, an officer with the St. Joseph Police Department.

Carter said the department receives a lot of calls this time of year from people complaining about fireworks. He said they generally respond if someone is injured or they see it directly.

"We have sixty calls per shift so we're going to domestics and fights and people intoxicated, (which) have to take priority over fireworks," he said.

Carter said this year, they haven't received many calls in the days leading up to the holiday weekend.

"Probably because of the heat," he said.

And police aren't the only ones reminding people about the dangers of fireworks.

"Around the month of 4th of July, the typical emergency room will see approximately 240 people per day for firework related injuries," said Dr. Cynthia Brownfield, a doctor with Heartland.

She said the most common injuries on the fourth are burns and injuries to the eye.

"Usually when injuries happen it's because of a malfunctioning firework, bottle rockets being a high source of malfunctioning fireworks," Brownfield said.

While sparklers are legal within city limits, Brownfield says those can be just as dangerous.

"There is just this perception that sparklers are safe because they don't explode, however, sparklers burn at over a thousand degrees, which is five to ten times hotter than boiling water," she said.

So Brownfield says the safest option is to leave it to the pros.

"Definitely going to a professional fireworks display is the safest, to keep you and your family safe," she said.

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