It's that time of year! Fireworks stands are popping up like firecrackers!
For many folks, summer time means a lot of things.
For Linda Newman of Louisiana, it means coming to Ralls County to open the fireworks stand she's run with her husband for 23 years.
She says her favorite part is bringing other families together.
"It brings so many families together this time of the year," said Newman. "A lot of families that may not see each other a lot during the year will make that special time to make that family connection and they use picnics and fireworks to really have a wonderful family event."
But officials remind people that for many cities, playing with fire can mean getting burned in your wallet - if you live in town.
And they're illegal in the state of Illinois and Iowa.
Lieutenant Kathy Davis says if you shoot fireworks in the city limits of Hannibal, like many other cities, you're going to have to pay up.
She says it's a $130 fine in Hannibal.
"It's always a busy time of the year for us," said Davis. "There's always several fireworks calls. We handle approximately a hundred fireworks calls a year. Of course there's always the danger of shooting fireworks because your neighbors are so close."
Which is why police, firefighters, and tent owners alike are saying you should follow the rules and keep it in the country for anything but snakes and sparklers.
Davis says you cannot sell them or shoot them, but she says the city ordinance doesn't address possession.
Hannibal firefighter John Baker says make sure you buy your fireworks from a reputable company and to follow all the instructions on the fireworks.
Even though we're no longer in drought conditions, he says it's very important to shoot them on the right surface.
"There could be some fuels underneath the green grass that are dry that could ignite," said Baker. "So be very careful where you shoot the fireworks. Stay away from any buildings. Try an area that's either closely mowed grass or that's maybe gravel or paved."
Baker says you should never aim a firework at a person.
He says it's also important to keep a water source nearby just in case something does get out of hand.
Baker says you should douse them with water before you throw them away and leave any duds alone for at least twenty minutes before you douse them and throw them out. Baker says you should never try to relight a dud.
Newman says it's very important to read the labels and make sure you follow the directions.
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