While some citizens are calling for a countywide ban on fireworks due to the continuing hot and dry weather conditions and potential fire hazards, there is no law in Missouri that permits such a ban, Sheriff Gary Toelke said.
Toelke said his office has been receiving calls from concerned citizens. However, there are no state statutes that allow a sheriff to institute a county ban.
“Some cities in the state and charter counties, may have authority to enact such an ordinance,” Toelke said. “However, because Franklin County is a not a charter county, it does not have that authority.”
The sheriff said the state fire marshall has issued a warning to residents to be extra careful over the Fourth of July.
“We also are asking citizens to refrain from discharging fireworks that can travel outside a confined area such as rockets, which can start a fire some distance away,” Toelke said.
The fire marshal’s office issued the following warnings and safety tips:
• Purchase fireworks only from a properly licensed retailer.
• Keep young children away from fireworks.
• Make sure to have water nearby in case of a fire or an accident
• 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 relight fireworks that have malfunctioned.
• Never have any part of your body over fireworks.
• Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
• Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
• Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water and leaving them in a trash can.
• Never light fireworks indoors.
• Don’t use fireworks while consuming alcohol.
• Store fireworks in a cool, dry place. Don’t save fireworks from season to season.