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Mo. Fire Marshal: let professionals handle fireworks

(via Flickr/laffy4k)

Fireworks stands are open for business across Missouri as the Independence Day holiday weekend approaches.   

State Fire Marshal Randy Cole is advising the public that the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to let trained professional at public displays shoot them off.

“Basically, whenever you leave the product in the hands of professionals, you can enjoy those shows much more and not have to worry about situations that might occur that could injure you or someone in your party," Cole said.

Some fireworks vendors say the Fire Marshal’s statement could hurt their business, but there are some who will use fireworks anyway.  Travis Pineur works at a fireworks tent in Jefferson City.

“It’s up to the people, it’s all up to (what) they want to do, really," Pineur said.  "As far as (Cole's statement) hurting our business, it definitely might, but like I say, if they want to light off fireworks, they’re gonna light off fireworks.”

One of Pineur’s co-workers says they advise their customers to use caution and to have an adult in charge.

Cole’s statement also advises fireworks customers to never point them at other people, have enough water on hand to put out any fires, and to have a “designated shooter” who has not been drinking.

Other recommendations from the Missouri Division of Fire Safety:

·   Purchase fireworks only from a properly licensed retailer.

·   Always wear eye protection and earplugs if you have sensitive ears.

·   Tie back long hair and don't wear loose fitting clothes.

·   Only light one firework at a time.

·   Never try to re-light fireworks that have malfunctioned.

·   Never have any part of your body over fireworks.

·   Keep young children away from fireworks.

·   Never carry fireworks in your pocket.

·   Make sure to have water nearby in case of a fire or an accident.

·   Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water and leaving them in a trash can.

·   Never light fireworks indoors.

·   Store fireworks in a cool, dry place. Don't save fireworks from season to season. 

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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