How to stay safe around fireworks this Independence Day weekend | Local News

It’s almost the Fourth of July, which means a weekend full of cookouts, sparklers and fireworks.

As fun as these patriotic festivities are, however, safety is important.

Here are some basic firework laws and safety guidelines, along with parade dates, from the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to keep in mind as you celebrate our country this weekend.

Fireworks laws

All fireworks used without a valid permit are illegal. The only fireworks that are allowed by state regulations are sparklers, snaps, and poppers. Anything that leaves the ground and explodes and produces sparks or embers from the ground is illegal and should not be used.

You must be 18 years of age or older to ignite fireworks.

Firework safety tips

  • The adult igniting the firework should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.
  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
  • Never re-light a “dud” firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).
  • Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket).
  • Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves and flammable materials.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people or animals. Keep your pets indoors to reduce the risk that they will run loose and get injured. Animals have very sensitive ears and can be stressed or frightened due to the igniting of fireworks.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trash can.
  • Consider enjoying fireworks safely while attending a professional public fireworks display. There are professional displays at Old Settlers Park in Paddock Lake on Sunday at 9:30 pm and at HarborPark in Kenosha on Monday at 9:30 pm

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Officials also encourage safety in and around parade traffic, and for kids and other parade participants, this holiday weekend. Scheduled parades in Kenosha County include:

  • Twin Lakes LibertyFest Parade on Saturday, 11 am
  • Kenosha Civic Veterans Parade on Sunday at 1 pm
  • Paddock Lake bike parade on Sunday at 9:30 am
  • Paddock Lake boat parade, on the water, Sunday, at 7 p.m
  • Somers Independence Day Parade on Monday at noon.

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