The Danger of Fireworks

We get many calls for service around the 4th of July, from residents wanting to report the illegal use of fireworks in their neighborhood. In July 2021, our officers responded to 31 calls about fireworks. This may not seem like a large number but when there are other emergencies occurring in the city, sending officers to fireworks calls can divert them from other incidents. 

Please remember that 911 is NOT for reporting fireworks! Our officers respond to all calls for service and you might think shooting off fireworks is an emergency, but it is NOT. We need to leave the 911 lines open for true emergencies, such as heart attacks or a serious vehicle accidents with injuries. If the 911 lines are tied up with reporting fireworks being shot off, those who need our help the most, could be delayed and those few precious moments could cost them their lives. 

We need to remember that fireworks are ILLEGAL in all of St. Louis County. We want everyone to enjoy the 4th of July, but without the use of fireworks. Not only are they illegal; they are potentially dangerous.  You may feel like shooting off fireworks is no big deal, but it is.  

Per the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 180 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries during the month of July.  Fireworks can cause serious burns, eye injuries, loss of body parts and even death. Sparklers account for roughly one-quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries each year. Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees which is hot enough to melt some metals. 
Did you know that:
  • Almost 10,000 people are treated in emergency room with fireworks-related injuries yearly.
  • Most injuries occur to the face (12%), eyes (17%) and hands (34%).
  • The majority of firework-related injuries happen to children under the age of 15.
  • Fires caused by fireworks injure 50 and kill 15 people on average yearly.

The use of fireworks in residential areas have also caused families to lose their homes due to fires. Per the National Fire Protection Association there are more than 18,000 fires started by fireworks, costing an average of $43 million in direct property damage each year.  

If our officers respond and find that you and your family are shooting off fireworks, they can confiscate them and you could be subject to being arrested and fined by the Municipal Judge. That does not seem like a great way to spend the 4th of July.
We also need to remember that 4th of July is NOT fun for pets. More pets are reported missing on 4th of July than any other day. Fireworks can cause severe burns and trauma to the face and paws of pets.  Unused fireworks are potentially toxic to them due from such substances as potassium nitrate, arsenic and heavy metals.

There are a few options around Maryland Heights to view professional fireworks displays:
  • Chesterfield 4th of July Fireworks Celebration | 9:00 p.m. | 17925 N. Outer 40 Rd. 
  • Manchester 4th of July 4th Celebration | At Dark | 359 Old Meramec Station Rd. 
  • St. Charles Riverfest | 9:20 p.m. | 222 S. Riverside Dr. 
  • Eureka Independence Day Celebration | 9:15 p.m. | 394 S. Central Ave. 
  • Fair St. Louis | 9:45 p.m. | 301 Prospect Ave. 
  • Community Days at Webster Groves | 9:30 p.m. | Memorial Field
We will be placing signs around the community reminding everyone that fireworks are illegal in the weeks leading up to the 4th of July.    

The safest and most effective way to prevent injury or damage to property is to leave the firework displays to the professionals.