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Fire Marshal Encourages Safety In Fireworks Use


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, July 1, 2019

CONTACT: Tony Mangan, Department of Public Safety, 773-6196


Fire Marshal Encourages Safety In Fireworks Use


PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota’s Fire Marshal urges people to make sure that fun with fireworks does not turn tragic this July Fourth holiday.


For many, the discharge of fireworks is a part of the holiday celebration. But Fire Marshal Paul Merriman says if not handled properly, fireworks can also become deadly.


“We see this every year nationwide, somebody getting hurt or being killed because of fireworks,” he said. “Always make sure that if you use fireworks, you do so in a safe manner and follow the local regulations.”


Sale of fireworks in South Dakota began last week and can be purchased until Friday, July 5. It is legal to discharge fireworks through Sunday, July 7.


While it has been a wet early summer for most of South Dakota, the recent hot weather has  the chance of fires being started by fireworks. Merriman says those using fireworks should know the weather conditions.


“Unintentional fires started by fireworks can start in any type of conditions regardless of rainfall amounts,” he said. “It still comes down to common sense, following the instructions on the fireworks and not discharging fireworks around people and buildings.”


Since some individual cities may adopt fireworks limits that are stricter than state law, Merriman suggests that citizens check local ordinances and regulations.  Merriman offers a few simple safety tips:


*** Follow the instructions on the product;


*** Avoid using fireworks in places where a fire could start;


*** Keep a source of water handy; and,


*** Many fireworks such as sparklers, which are popular with younger children, can cause painful burns and should be used with adult supervision. 


*** Consider attending a professional fireworks display in place of lighting personal fireworks.


The state Fire Marshal’s Office is part of the state Department of Public Safety.