The rockets red glare may be part of the national anthem, but in Minnesota, it is not part of a legal at home Fourth of July celebration.
As the nations’ birthday approaches, many are likely hearing an increasing number of fireworks in the twilight hours and sometimes even in the middle of the day. But not everyone is saying “ooh” and “aah.”
The Rochester Police Department posted on its Facebook page that the department has had an increase in calls about fireworks. The issue is that many, if not most, fireworks that go bang, boom or leave the ground are illegal in Minnesota. The department wrote in its post that they will handle calls of illegal fireworks as it does with all other calls for low-level violations.
“When time permits, we will respond to educate, encourage compliance and then enforce local ordinances,” the post states. “We believe that, with the cancellation of many organized events, there will be an increase in community using fireworks in neighborhoods. As fireworks can cause stress to those who experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and pets, we encourage community members to consider their neighbors when using fireworks.”
The sale, possession and use of certain non-explosive and non-aerial consumer fireworks is permitted in Minnesota, according to the State Fire Marshal. Legal fireworks include sparklers, cones and tubes that emit sparks, or novelty items like snakes and party poppers.
Anything that flies or explodes is illegal in Minnesota.
But if the Fourth of July isn’t the Fourth of July without a firework or two, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers these safety tips.
Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees -- hot enough to melt some metals.
Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it in the trash.