Consumer fireworks are illegal in the City of St. Louis. Each year, more than 5,000 people across the country are injured by fireworks in the weeks around the Fourth of July, many of them children who lost fingers or eyes due to a moment of adult inattention during manufacture or use. The City has several major fireworks displays planned, each of them more spectacular than the dinky Roman candles and bottle rockets you might have picked up outside the city limits.
Should you be unable to resist the temptation to set off fireworks, I offer the following suggestions:
1. Do so in the county in which you purchased them. Their fire departments and hospitals should bear the consequences of their sales and use policies.
2. Use them only outdoors - an instruction that should be unnecessary, but isn't.
3. Do not let young children handle fireworks; closely supervise teens that do.
4. Soak used fireworks and "duds" in a bucket of water before putting them in a dumpster.
5. Be prepared to pay a fine if you are caught using them illegally.
Many of you are animal lovers. Dogs and cats - yours or your neighbors - hate fireworks. So, do firefighters, who are the ones called to risk their safety to put out fires started by fireworks.
And whatever I said about fireworks - safety goes a thousand times more for firing guns into the air. Please do not do it. Join us on the riverfront for free music and fireworks instead. Happy 4th of July, St. Louis!