Laws, safety tips need to be remembered during holiday
The next few days will be paradise for fireworks enthusiasts.
But Baldwin Police Chief Mike McKenna said there are some rules and regulations, as well as some safety tips, that need to be observed when shooting fireworks for the Fourth of July holiday.
McKenna said fireworks can only be discharged from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fireworks are allowed in most areas of town, but are prohibited in the central business district from Sixth and High streets to Ninth and High streets, and from Eighth and Grove streets to Eighth and Indiana streets.
Fireworks allowed in town are ones that can only be purchased from Kansas fireworks stands. McKenna said some fireworks, like bottle rockets, are illegal in Kansas, although they can be purchased a few miles away in Missouri.
"You need to buy fireworks from legitimate sources in Kansas," he said.
It is illegal, he said, to discharge fireworks in public roadways, near motor vehicles and animals.
McKenna said it is important to use common sense when shooting fireworks to avoid serious injury. He said it's especially important to supervise children around fireworks.
"Last year there were 231 injuries in Kansas because of fireworks," he said. "Children ages six to 10 made up 63 of those injuries. One hundred and forty-seven of those injuries were people under the age of 18."
He said fireworks should be discharged in an open area and should never be shot in metal or glass containers.
He said fireworks should be shot one at a time by only one person.
"You need to have somebody that's a designated shooter," he said, "so there's no mix up on who's shooting them off in different locations."
Those shooting fireworks, he said, should wear eye protection.
McKenna said one of the most important safety tips is to use the fireworks as they are intended.
"Read labels and instructions on those things before going out and striking a match to them," he said.