SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– With the Fourth of July just a few days away, people have begun shooting fireworks across KELOLAND.

If you’re not careful, it can be dangerous.

Last year alone, fireworks sparked , 42 structure fires 112 grass fires fires in South Dakota.
But there are several steps you can take to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

The booms, pops and beautiful colors are all fun ways to enjoy the summer holiday, but they can be dangerous.

Despite recent rain, the state fire marshal wants people lighting off fireworks to remember that a lot of the state is still in a drought. That means people need to be careful.

“Just make sure you are using consumer fireworks only, bought from a reputable, licensed retailer. No homemade or altered fireworks, those are very dangerous and also illegal,” said Paul Merriman, state fire marshal. “Be aware of your surroundings. Make sure you have a water source or a fire extinguisher nearby.”

Shooting them in a safe location is key. Make sure to check city and county rules.

“You want to shoot in an open area, you never want to shoot around trees I think that would be the biggest thing,” said Shelly Raderschadt, Hot Shot Fireworks.

“Look at things like exposures. Make sure you’re shooting them off a flat surface, non combustible surface, you know, make sure you don’t have buildings or homes nearby, people nearby,” said Merriman.

When it comes to fires, some fireworks are safer than others.

“Usually shooting things lower to the ground because they just don’t travel as far,” said Raderschadt.

One thing you can do to prevent fires after you’ve lit off the fireworks is making sure you dispose of them properly.

“When you’re done, pour a little bit of water on each firework, I use my watering can, and then I just leave them to sit overnight and then pick them up again the next morning. You never want to pick up a hot firework after you’ve just shot it,” said Raderschadt.

And, if in doubt, Merriman says professional displays are a good alternative.

“Maybe a professional display, rather than shooting fireworks off yourself, those are kind of fun too and there’s some good shows in the area in the area that people can attend year to year,” said Merriman.

Fireworks sales will end on July 5th in South Dakota. The last day to discharge them is July 10th.