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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Wednesday, June 30, 2010

amurphy@dps.state.ia.us
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

STATE FIRE MARSHAL WARNS OF FIREWORKS AND FIRE SAFETY THIS 4TH OF JULY

Des Moines, IOWA --- As citizens of Iowa celebrate the 4th of July with parades and picnics, the State Fire Marshal Division reminds Iowans that the only fireworks they should light are sparklers, snakes, and caps.  All other types of fireworks are best left in the hands of professional pyrotechnicians, hired by local municipalities.  In fact, outside of sparklers, snakes and caps, fireworks are illegal in Iowa when lit by someone besides a trained professional.

State Fire Marshal Bomb Technicians respond yearly to accidental fires and incidents involving illegal fireworks.  Fireworks contain powders that are very sensitive to shock, friction, heat, and blunt force.  Persons not trained in safe handling of explosives can be seriously injured by fireworks.  In the U.S. on average, 32,000 fires occur and 9,300 injuries result from fireworks according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  Despite our state law prohibiting the use of fireworks, Iowa contributes to these statistics. 

State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds says, “The 4th of July should be a time to create happy family memories.  But those valued family moments can turn tragic in a very short timeframe when illegal fireworks are brought into the mix.” 

Citizens are urged to contact their local fire department if they come across fireworks they’d like to have properly disposed.  Trained Bomb Technicians from the State Fire Marshal Bomb Squad will coordinate with local agencies to safely mitigate the hazards of fireworks.

 

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