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Dry weather could threaten fireworks

Independence Day is just a couple of weeks away and fireworks tents are popping up all over the Tri-States, but laws about when and where fireworks can be set off vary greatly in the Tri-State area.

Shoppers from all around the Midwest drive long distances to visit Fireworks Superstore in Hannibal, who say they’re the biggest fireworks store in the country.

"We have customers that shop here from all over the united states. believe it or not, Texas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Kansas, Indiana," said Fireworks Superstore Owner Tom Marx, "The hottest items typically are artillery shells, 500 gram multishots."

Shoppers from outside Missouri can buy things that might not be available in their home states, so fire officials say it’s important to keep your local laws in mind. In Missouri, for example,  it’s legal on the state level to set off fireworks, but a Hannibal ordinance prohibits fireworks within city limits.

 The Hannibal Fire Department said it’s also important to keep safe while lighting off fireworks.

"If you are in an area where it is legal to shoot off fireworks, it’s best to shoot them off under adult supervision, preferably not kids shooting them off, in an open clear area away from buildings, vehicles, anywhere else flammable," said Captain of HFD Ryan Neisen.

According to the HFD, while sometimes bans on fireworks can be put in place due to dry conditions, there are currently none in effect for this year, but that it’s still important to be observant of how dry the ground is where you’re lighting fireworks.

In the state of Illinois, legal fireworks are limited to things like sparklers, snakes, smoke bombs, and small non-explosive novelty items. 

In Missouri, state law allows fireworks to be sold and used, however counties and cities are allowed to have their own ordinances banning fireworks.

In Iowa, fireworks can be sold and used between June 1st and July 9th and between December 10th and January 3rd.

Regardless of where you live, if you have questions it’s best to contact local authorities.

For a complete list of safety tips, check out the Consumer Protection Safety Center’s website here.

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