NewsJuly 2, 2024
Ahead of July 4th, officials urge the public to enjoy professional fireworks displays and follow local laws to ensure safety. Fire Chief Mike Moffitt highlights the risks and legal restrictions on personal fireworks use.
By Barbara Ann Horton ~ Daily American Republic
Professional fireworks light up the night at the Rock the Country music festival, a week before Independence Day.
Professional fireworks light up the night at the Rock the Country music festival, a week before Independence Day. Joe McGraw ~ Daily American Republic

While the Fourth of July is synonymous with fireworks, national and local experts are advising celebrants to leave the big booms to the professionals.

The National Safety Council advises everyone to enjoy fireworks at public displays conducted by professionals, and not to use any at home. Poplar Bluff Fire Chief Mike Moffitt reminded residents that discharging fireworks in the city limits is restricted.

According to Moffitt, city ordinance states, “No person shall discharge or shoot fireworks of any kind in the city except as permitted by the following provisions:

“The discharge or shooting of fireworks within the city shall be permitted by civic organizations when they have been granted permission to do so by a majority vote of the city council and inspection and approval by the Missouri State Fire Marshal’s office and the Poplar Bluff Fire Department.”

If you choose to shoot fireworks, Moffitt stressed, “Never allow young children to handle fireworks. Older children should use them only under close adult supervision.”

If impaired by drugs or alcohol, never use fireworks, the chief added.

Don't miss the news!Get a weekly email with the latest news

“Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands,” he said. “Never light them indoors and never point or throw fireworks at another person. Never use illegal fireworks.”

He recommended soaking both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.

Every year, thousands of people are injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, with many of the injuries to children and young adults. While the majority of these incidents are due to amateurs attempting to use professional-grade, homemade or other illegal fireworks or explosives, less powerful devices like small firecrackers and sparklers can also cause significant injuries.

The Downtown Poplar Bluff Independence Day Celebration fireworks will begin at 9 p.m. or dusk on Thursday, July 4.

Donations to sponsor the the Downtown Poplar Bluff fireworks show were provided by Briggs & Stratton and Missouri Highlands Health Care.

Don't miss the news!Get a weekly email with the latest news