New Release – 4th of July Firework Safety

News release prepared by:

Battalion Chief Greg Orr

As we prepare to celebrate our nation’s birthday, the Missoula Rural Fire District (MRFD) would like to remind everyone to celebrate safely, particularly if your celebration will include fireworks. Fireworks are sold in Montana from June 24th through July 5th.  Even though it is still green outside, the fire danger is beginning to climb. Fireworks pose a significant fire and injury hazard if used improperly. Here are some safety rules to follow so that your celebration remains safe and happy:

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks. Remember, most fireworks are illegal in the city of Missoula. Fireworks are legal in the county on private property but are not permitted on public property or state and federal lands.
  • Know your fireworks; read the warning labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to young children and always supervise older children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show or have a designated ignitor.
  • Never aim fireworks at other people. Be sure to ignite them on a sturdy solid surface where they are not likely to tip over.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings and vehicles. Never ignite fireworks indoors.
  • Never try to relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water or a hose nearby.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and placing them in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials.

In addition, if your celebration involves a campfire, please make sure to monitor your fire while it is burning and that it is completely out before leaving it. Following these simple rules will help ensure that your July 4th celebrations remain safe and festive. From all of us at MRFD, have a happy and safe Independence Day!


For more information on firework safety, please call MRFD at 406-549-6172.