With July 4th just days away, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue reminds residents that most fireworks are restricted in the city of Sioux Falls.

“We describe it as anything that makes a loud bang or shoots a projectile into the air,” Sioux Falls Fire Marshall Dean Lanier explained to us. “These items would not be an authorized fireworks. But, those things like sparklers or snakes are all right in the city limits. There will be a code enforcement out to remind people of that fact.”

Lanier says sparklers are especially dangerous in the hands of children.

“Yes they are! Sparklers burn up to 1,800 degrees fahrenheit which is more than enough to burn skin. If children are going to handle these kinds of things---make sure they are in close supervision of adults. Sparklers should stay away from the eyes and the face.”

Lanier says fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,000 outside and other fires in 2001. The fires resulted in an estimated eight civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage. On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fire.

Aside from fireworks, Lanier says every year people are injured while using gas grills.

“We do have fires associated with grilling in Sioux Falls. If people are going to grill make use the unit is three feet away from the home’s exterior walls. Heat can transmit quite a bit if the walls are too close. Make sure the grill is in good working order. If you have a propane powered grill, check the hoses if they have leaks.”

The bottom line, according to Dean Lanier, is make sure everyone, including the pets, stay away from the grill!

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