Public Safety offers fireworks safety tips

Public Safety offers fireworks safety tips The South Dakota Department of Public Safety is encouraging South Dakotans to follow these fireworks safety precautions during the Fourth of July holiday season:

* Read and follow all package warnings and instructions;

* Be aware that all people are out of range before lighting fireworks;

* Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from housing, dry leaves, and flammable materials;

* Keep a bucket of water nearby in case of a malfunction or fire;

* Observe local laws and regulations;

* Do not experiment with homemade fireworks;

* Buy fireworks from legally licensed retail dealers;

* Never allow children to play with or to ignite fireworks;

"Even sparklers, which many consider to be the ideal firework for young children, burn at very high temperatures and can easily cause an injury," said Al Christie, state fire marshal. "These safety tips are just some initial pointers for having a safe Fourth of July weekend. Most importantly, we're encouraging everyone to pay attention to their surroundings and loved ones."

During the eight-day period, the state Fire Marshal Office will be inspecting South Dakota retail outlets selling consumer fireworks for compliance with state law, SDCL-34-37, including:

* Having a retail fireworks license;

* Having a fire extinguisher of at least 2A capacity;

* Selling only fireworks purchased from a wholesaler licensed by the state;

* Not allowing anyone under 18 years old engage in the sale of fireworks; and,

* Posting signs stating that no fireworks can be ignited within 150 feet of the premises.

"Even though we've been receiving rain in parts of the state, the dryness in western South Dakota will be a main concern during this holiday weekend," Christie said.

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