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4th of July tips from Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney

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Independence Day is right around the corner, and the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) is encouraging Mississippians to be safe whether they plan to celebrate at a fireworks show or at home.

Companies responsible for fireworks displays, or pyrotechnic companies, are required to apply for a permit for shows on state-owned property. Once approved, the SMFO verifies all information relating to insurance, technicians, and local public safety information. Deputies must also be present during the fireworks shows and the cleanup process.

“The SFMO performs pyrotechnic inspections for shows that are performed on state-owned properties,” said State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney. “It’s up to you to set your own safety standards when shooting fireworks at home. That means using common sense, never pointing fireworks at another person, and disposing of fireworks in water to prevent fire.”

The Mississippi State Fire Marshal is urging people to abide by these safety tips:

  • Observe local laws.
    • Those wishing to purchase and use fireworks should first check with their fire protection officials to make sure that local laws are being followed.
    •  Some municipalities prohibit fireworks from being used within city limits.
  • Use common sense: always read and follow the directions on each firework.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Buy from reliable fireworks sellers. Store them in a cool, dry place.
  • Always have an adult present when shooting fireworks.
  • Put used fireworks in a bucket of water and have a hose ready.
  • Only use fireworks outdoors, away from homes, dry grass, and trees.
  • Light only one item at a time and keep a safe distance.
  • Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks.
  • Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Never give fireworks to small children.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 11,500 emergency room-treated injuries involving fireworks in 2021, which was down from the spike (15,600) experienced in 2020, during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many public displays were canceled.

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