After The Holiday, Firefighters Urge Public To Properly Dispose Of Fireworks Trash

ROGERS (KFSM) -- The fun of shooting fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July may be over, but the dangers -- and the garbage -- of those fireworks still exist.

Getting rid of fireworks and fireworks debris, as well as storing fireworks, can be dangerous. The National Safety Council says people should soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before throwing them in the trash. This includes fireworks that appeared to have malfunctioned or misfired.

Rogers firefighters responded to several fireworks-related incidents over the holiday, from reports of fireworks misuse to fireworks embers catching grass on fire.

"Using fireworks safely is definitely one ingredient to having a good Independence Day holiday, but also the cleanup, being a good neighbor," Rogers Fire Chief Tom Jenkins.

"When you go to throw this away, you want to soak it in water, make sure everything is completely extinguished, get it in a bag  or something where you can keep it all together, and then throw it away," Jenkins suggested.

Jenkins said because fireworks debris can have unexploded ordnance in it, it's vital to soak it in water for several hours before throwing it away to minimize the danger of accidents later.

Many of the incidents to which the fire department was called out over the holiday could have been prevented with diligence and care, he said. It's important to clean up the debris not just for aesthetic reasons, but for safety as well.

"We don't want kids to be around stuff that may still have some explosives in it," he said. "Fireworks are dangerous."

Jenkins said it's not recommended to store fireworks, but for those adamant in doing so, he recommended storing fireworks away from anything damp or electrical, such as near breaker or electrical boxes or outlets.

"Don't put it near the exit, and I'd keep it in the garage or somewhere where children couldn't get to it, as well," Jenkins said.