Mid-County Fire Protection District Chief Scott Frandsen says that this year may be tough on fire departments, as they have already seen their share of firework related fires and incidents.

Many reports indicate that this fourth of July will see many more fireworks lit in a home environment instead of a local show. With COVID cases rising once more and many fireworks shows being cancelled, it’s not hard to see why.

Mid-County Fire Protection District Chief Scott Frandsen says that this year may be tough on fire departments, as they have already seen their share of firework related fires and incidents.

One of the core issues heading into the July 4th weekend is the lack of rain received in the lake area. Dry grass and fields are a major contributor to firework related fires and without proper care of use, Frandsen worries that this could be a dangerous weekend for firework displays.

In order to best prepare, Frandsen laid out a number of recommendations for any resident hoping to light a few firecrackers of their own this weekend. First and foremost, know your local laws. Not all lake towns allow for fireworks usage in city limits such as Camdenton, though Camden County as a whole allows it.

Frandsen says that the easiest way to make sure fireworks are being lit safely is to keep a single adult in charge of lighting and make sure all participants are a safe distance away. Read manufacturing instructions on the product and have a bucket of water ready in case of an emergency. If a firework misfires, leave it be. Do not attempt to relight the fuse.

Quality control on many fireworks are not up to the standards that Ferandsen says many fire stations would like to see. Be careful using any brand. Finally, remember that not only your pets, but also surrounding neighbor pets have a hard time with fireworks explosions. Be mindful of this and move fireworks away from heavily residential areas.

Frandsen hopes that, even with dry conditions and more fireworks being shot off at home, that this can be a safe and enjoyable weekend for all.

“There are tens of thousands of injuries a year. We see more than our share of injuries in our area,” Frandsen said. “We hope folks take care and be safe.”