Stands Are Opening, And Fireworks Safety Should Take Top Priority

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TOPEKA, Kan. — Those giant tent flaps are opening up, and the stands are too.. showing off the fireworks wares of merchants who are only here for about a week to give you a great deal on firecrackers. Robert Smith worked on a mobile fireworks shop near 29th and Wanamaker, and says business is good!

"It's been strong, and good. Even with the rain people still comin' out. Seems like they come out and buy fireworks a little... more when it rains. As soon as it rains they're under the tent," he says, explaining another purpose for those big tents this week.

And no doubt, plenty of Northeast Kansans will stock up through the 4th.

Using consumer fireworks on our nation’s birthday is as American as apple pie, backyard barbecues and parades on Main Street. While fireworks are used as part of the holiday celebration, it is important to remember that fireworks can be dangerous if not handled properly.

Fireworks within the city limits of Topeka can only legally be fired up from 8:00am till 10pm this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday once July arrives. Legal hours on the 4th are 8:00am till midnight.

“Many fireworks related injuries can be avoided by following a few common sense rules,” says Doug Jorgensen, State Fire Marshal. The OSFM offers these common sense safety tips for using consumer fireworks in the hopes that injuries to consumers can be greatly reduced this season:

Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.
Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks.
Know your fireworks. Read the caution label before igniting.
Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.
Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives. They can kill you!
Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and bottle rockets, to the fire or police department.

And note these special safety tips, if using sparklers:

Always remain standing while using sparklers.
Never hold a child in your arms while using sparklers.
Never hold, or light, more than one sparkler at a time.
Never throw sparklers.
Sparkler wire and stick remain hot long after the flame has gone out. Be sure to drop spent sparklers in a bucket of water.
Teach children not to wave sparklers, or run, while holding sparklers.