PIERRE, S.D. – While there has been more rain in most of South Dakota this summer, state Fire Marshal Paul Merriman says the public still needs to be safe discharging legal fireworks this July Fourth holiday.
Sale of fireworks in South Dakota is legal beginning Saturday, June 27. State law allows the purchase and discharge of fireworks from June 27 until the Sunday after July 4. This year, that means legal to discharge fireworks through Sunday, July 5.
“We try to stress the importance of being safe and responsible with legal fireworks every year,” says Merriman. “But every year we have a few injuries and unintentional fires.”
Individual cities may adopt fireworks limits that are stricter than state law. Merriman recommends that citizens check local ordinances and regulations.
This year is also different because rains this month have reduced the fire danger index more so than usual. But Merriman says people should still be careful with fireworks and fires.
“Mishandled fireworks could start nearby vegetation or structures, including a house, on fire,” he says. “People using common sense will help ensure they and others will enjoy a safe Fourth of July celebration.”
Merriman offers a few simple safety tips: Follow the instructions on the product, avoid using fireworks in places where a fire could start and keep a source of water handy.
Sparklers, popular with younger children, can cause painful burns and should be used with adult supervision, according to Merriman.
The state Fire Marshal’s Office is part of the state Department of Public Safety.