As we prepare to ring in the new, Missoula Rural Fire District (MRFD) would like to remind everyone to celebrate safely.

That is particularly true if your celebration will include fireworks. Lots of folks probably kept a portion of their 4th of July supply for the occasion, and fireworks stands have a limited window for additional sales in late December if they so choose.

Even though it is cold outside and there's snow on the ground, fireworks still pose a significant fire and injury hazard if misused. Here are some safety rules courtesy of MRFD to follow so that your celebration remains safe and happy:

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks. Remember, most fireworks are illegal in the city of Missoula. Fireworks are legal in the county on private property but are not permitted on public property or state and federal lands.
  • Know your fireworks; read the warning labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to young children and always supervise older children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show or have a designated ignitor.
  • Never aim fireworks at other people and always ignite them on a sturdy solid surface where they are not likely to tip over.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles. Never ignite fireworks indoors.
  • Never try to relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water or a hose nearby.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  •  Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and placing them in a metal trash can with a lid, away from any building or combustible materials.Following these simple rules will help ensure that your New Year celebrations remain safe and festive. The Missoula Rural Fire District would like us to pass on their wishes for a happy and safe New Year! For more information on firework safety, please call MRFD at 406-549-6172.

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