Missoula Rural Fire District – Don’t mix alcohol with fireworks

As the Fourth of July approaches, it’s important to pay attention to the do’s and don’ts when it comes to fireworks in Missoula County. Dodd McDermott is the deputy fire marshal of the Missoula Rural Fire District and he has the answers.

“Fireworks are legal in the county but legal on private property and not allowed on public property, state or federal lands,” McDermott said. “This is something to remember. You have to know your fireworks and be prepared. Responsible adults should supervise at all times. Do not give fireworks to young children. You never want to mix alcohol and your fireworks.”

According to McDermott, the now-famous release of sky lanterns can cause fires that cause damage to homes and property.

“One thing that has come up in the last few years that might be of great interest are sky lanterns,” McDermott said. “The NFPA has already banned sky lanterns due to the high rate of fires they cause. The state of Montana allows them if they’re restricted, but we’d better not use them. I think that’s something to remember.”

McDermott also offered some safety tips when handling fireworks.

“There is one thing you should absolutely never do and that is point any fireworks at people or homes,” McDermott said. Always light them on a hard, sturdy surface where they are unlikely to tip over and wear safety glasses. Light one firework at a time, then move away quickly. Always use fireworks outdoors in an area free of buildings and vehicles and never start fireworks indoors .

McDermott said it’s important to remember that you are responsible for any damage the fireworks may cause.

“Anyone who lit the fireworks is responsible or any adult supervising them is responsible for any damage that may be caused by those fireworks,” McDermott said. “If you like someone’s house burning, or someone’s car burning, or you really injure someone, it can be very expensive. It will dry out real fast with these hot days. Even under the humidity, everything can burn, so we just hope that Everyone is safe.We want everyone to have a happy, safe and festive 4th of July.

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