Be safe with fireworks this Fourth of July

Fireworks will go on sale Saturday in Cape Girardeau. Some towns have already started selling the Independence Day staple, though individuals must adhere to local rules and regulations regarding when they can be deployed.

Both Cape Girardeau and Jackson will host professional fireworks displays on the Fourth. These are great opportunities to enjoy tremendous displays while maintaining proper social distance as we continue to battle the coronavirus.

If you choose to purchase your own in the coming week, make sure to adhere proper safety protocols. Here are several tips from the National Safety Council:

* Don't let young children handle fireworks

* Older children using fireworks should be under close adult supervision

* Don't deploy fireworks if you are impaired by drugs or alcohol

* Those deploying or near fireworks should wear protective eyewear

* Don't hold ignited fireworks in your hands

* Don't use fireworks indoors

* Keep fireworks at a distance from people, houses and flammable items

* Don't point or throw fireworks at others

* Ignite only one device at a time and keep safe distance after lighting

* Don't light fireworks in a container

* Don't re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks

* Before discarding, soak used and unused fireworks in water for a few hours

* Keep a bucket of water nearby to extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire

* Never use illegal fireworks.

Make sure to protect your pets during this fireworks season. You can read tips from Dr. Loni Patke, veterinarian at Cape Small Animal Clinic, with this editorial online.

Fourth of July and the days leading up to it are a fun time to celebrate America's independence with family and friends. But please be safe, follow property safety protocols, and remember to continue social distancing.