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Spend July 4 with family and friends, not in the hospital

Sarah Buhs

Cloquet Area Fire District

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Flying or exploding fireworks are illegal in Minnesota, but legal fireworks like sparklers — which can burn up to 1,200 degrees — can be just as dangerous and cause injury.

Fireworks injured 55 people — many of them children and teens — in Minnesota last year in June and July. Make sure your July 4 holiday fun doesn’t fizzle. Stay safe and only purchase and use Minnesota-legal fireworks.

Examples of legal fireworks

  •  Wire or wood sparklers
  •  Snakes and glow worms
  •  Smoke devices
  •  Snappers and drop caps

Examples of illegal fireworks

  •  Any size firecrackers
  •  Sky rockets
  •  Bottle rockets
  •  Roman candles

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division (SFMD) has a complete list of legal and illegal fireworks in Minnesota at

Fireworks safety tips

  •  Read instructions on each device.
  •  Always provide adult supervision and keep fireworks away from small children.
  •  Use fireworks far from animals, buildings, storage tanks, brush and other combustibles.
  •  Keep a bucket of water nearby to cool spent sparkler wires and extinguish other fireworks.
  •  Forbid anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs to use fireworks.
  •  Light one device at a time, and never attempt to relight a device that doesn’t ignite the first time.
  •  If it looks damaged, don’t use it.

Forty percent of those injured in Minnesota last year by fireworks were age 19 and under. Nearly 60 percent of those injured by fireworks were male.

On a typical July 4, more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for 40 percent of those fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In June and July alone last year in Minnesota, fireworks contributed to 47 fires that cost property owners an average of $4,144 each. There were 32 fireworks-related fires the remaining 10 months of the year that each caused an average of $2,537 in property damage.

Facts about fireworks

  •  Minnesota Statute 624.20 allows for the public sale, possession and use of a limited number of, but not all, consumer fireworks.
  •  Fireworks may not legally be used on public property, including parks, roads, alleys, schools and any government property.
  •  Minnesota law specifies that you must be at least 18 years old to purchase consumer fireworks, and retailers are required to check ID.
  •  Delayed combustion is not uncommon. People who try to relight a device often end up with damaged eyes or fingers.
  •  More national facts and figures are available at

About the Minnesota Department Public Safety

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.

About the State Fire Marshal Division

The mission of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division is to protect lives and property by fostering a fire-safe environment through fire/arson investigation, code development and enforcement, regulation, data collection and public education. Data collected by the State Fire Marshal Division from fire departments statewide is analyzed and used to determine the best methods of public education and enforcement to improve fire safety in our state.

State Fire Marshal Division 2012 statistics

  • One structure fire was reported in Minnesota every 1.4 hours.
  • Some 4,863 of a total 6,436 structure fires in Minnesota occurred in residential property.
  • Fifty-eight percent of fire deaths in occurred where people generally feel safest — at home.