Avoid a fire this holiday weekend

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As the holiday weekend approaches, people across KELOLAND are gearing up to watch and for some, shoot off fireworks.

When it comes to celebrating the 4th of July, the first thing you might think of is fireworks. But making sure you do them safely is what’s most important.

“We might have a false sense of security right now, we’ve some rain over the last few days but it’s still, the conditions are still very dry,” Tjeerdsma said.

Along with being aware of your surroundings, fire inspector Tyler Tjeerdsma says how you end your celebration is crucial.

“You need to properly dispose of fireworks before throwing them in the trash and how you do that is we ask you to soak them overnight in a pail of water. And then the next day, wrap them up in some plastic so they don’t dry out, and then dispose of them into your ordinary combustible garbage,” Tjeerdsma said.

It’s those simple steps that could prevent your holiday from ending in disaster.

“Last year, we had 3 house fires, and several dumpster fires, caused by improper disposal of fireworks,” Tjeerdsma said.

To show you just how dangerous improper disposal can be, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue tested it for themselves.

“We took a garbage can, we filled it with just your ordinary combustible trash. We set off some fireworks and we put those fireworks directly into the trash to see how long it would take for the trash to start on fire and within 5 minutes we had some smoke rolling, 10 minutes we had flames,” Tjeerdsma said.

By demonstrating what can happen, he hopes others will take this advice seriously in order to enjoy their holiday while staying safe.

Watching children and pets closely during your celebration is also important — sparklers alone were to blame for 25 percent of the injuries last year.

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