PIERRE, SD (KELO AM) – Sale of fireworks in South Dakota is legal beginning Friday, June 27, and Fire Marshal Paul Merriman reminds residents to be safe as they observe Independence Day.
“Most people are safe and responsible with their legal fireworks, but every year we have a few injuries and unintentional fires,’’ Merriman said. “Common sense goes a long way toward making the Fourth of July celebration a safe one.’’
State law allows purchase and discharge fireworks from June 27 until the Sunday after July 4. This year, that means it’s legal to discharge fireworks through Sunday, July 6.
Individual cities may adopt fireworks limits that are stricter than state law. Merriman recommends that citizens check local ordinances and regulations.
Recent (2011) nationwide statistics from the National Fire Protection Association show fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 fires, including 1,200 structure fires, with eight civilian deaths and 40 injuries. The result of the fires was $32 million in direct property damage.
Merriman offered a few simple safety tips: Follow the instructions on the product, avoid using fireworks in places where a fire could start and keep a source of water handy.
Sparklers, popular with younger children, can cause painful burns and should be used with adult supervision, Merriman said.