VIDEO: Fireworks safety tips from Muscatine Fire Marshal Mike Hartman

Muscatine Fire Marshal Mike Hartman discusses fireworks safety in this presentation provided by the video department at Musser Public Library and HNI Community Center and as seen on MPW Cable Channel 5.

Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades, and fireworks. Muscatine public safety officials urge everyone to be safe this holiday. Those celebrating Independence Day with fireworks are reminded that it is only legal to discharge fireworks form 9 a .m. to 10 p.m. on July 3 and July 4.

“The most important message to people is that if they choose to discharge fireworks to do so in a safe manner,” Mike Hartman, Muscatine Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal, said.

Public safety is also the foremost concern for local and state officials in the governance of the sale and use of consumer fireworks.

“The best way to stay safe is to let the professionals handle the fireworks by attending a public display,” Jerry Ewers, Muscatine Fire Chief, said. “But if you choose to discharge consumer fireworks, please do it safely and responsibly only during the hours of 9 a.m. through 10 p.m. on July 3rd and 4th only.”

Local government and public safety officials share deep concern for the individuals who discharge the fireworks, those individuals who are in the vicinity when fireworks are discharged, those who may be affected by the noise created by the explosions, and for the homes, businesses, or other structures that may be ignited by fireworks.

No More Warnings …
The Muscatine Police will be taking an aggressive approach to violations of the City fireworks ordinance.

“Over the last couple of years we gave numerous warnings to people that violated the City ordinance,” Brett Talkington, Muscatine Police Chief, said. “We found that this was not very productive with all the complaints that we were receiving. So, moving forward, the Police Department will be issuing citations to people lighting fireworks outside of the legal times.”

That includes citing homeowners when someone on their property is discharging fireworks outside of the legal time frame.

“We want people to be respectful when lighting fireworks, and to make sure you are only lighting them off within the time frame allowed by City ordinance,” Talkington said. “If we all work together and follow the rules we can all have an enjoyable Fourth of July.”

The National Safety Council advises everyone to enjoy fireworks at public displays conducted by professionals, and not to use any fireworks at home. They may be legal but they are not safe. Read more: Leave Fireworks to the Experts.