What to do to stay safe while enjoying fireworks on July Fourth

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Sunday
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 5:54 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) -July fourth weekend will be filled with Independence Day parades all throughout the Black Hills, but one activity that is off limits in Rapid City is fireworks.

According to Pennington County’s website, South Dakota Law permits firework usage between Monday, June 27, and July 10. Anyone found with illegal use of fireworks could face up to 500 dollars, 30 days in jail, or both.

Brian Povandra, Division Chief of fire operations in Rapid City says that you should be cautious when using fireworks and make sure they are legal.

Povandra states “Every fourth of July, we see an increase of calls and increase of grass fires within the city limits. It is inevitable, that people are going to be shooting them off. If you are in an area where you can shoot fireworks, made sure you are shooting legal fireworks. Take safety precautions and do not let your children shoot the fireworks off, make sure you have an adult that is there...Light one at a time. "

In July of 2021, Rapid City Fire Department received more than 200 calls during the July fourth weekend, with 35 fires reported on July 3rd alone.

Provandra says that you should be safe, but use common sense

He states “Everybody likes to enjoy this time of year, so make sure you are cautious with your consumption of alcohol. If you are going to consume alcohol, make sure you get your fireworks before you start consuming alcohol. Pay attention to your fire safety...we have had a fair amount of rain over the last couple of weeks, but things are drying out quickly. Just in the county, we have had multiple fires over the last few days. Be cautious with the fireworks over the fourth.”

According to the United States Forest Service, you should keep a bucket of water or a garden hose in handy in case of a fire or other mishap. Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers. When it comes to items like sparklers, make sure that you have full adult supervision while handling them. Sparklers are often popular with kids, but sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to burn some metals.

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