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Fire Marshal warns to protect kids from fireworks

(Radio Iowa) – With the Fourth of July coming up this week, Iowans are being reminded that most fireworks are illegal in the state. Dave Linkletter, with the State Fire Marshal’s office, says there’s a simple reason why – they’re dangerous.

“Last year, there were 53 fireworks-related fires in Iowa,” Linkletter says. In 2011, there were 26 fireworks-related fires in the state. Linkletter is especially concerned about keeping illegal fireworks out of the hands of children. And even the legal fireworks – such as sparklers, snakes and caps – can cause injuries.

“The risk of fireworks injuries is highest among children 5 to 19,” Linkletter says. “So, we want to make sure that when we are using legal fireworks, they are being used in a responsible manner and when they’re used by children, they’re supervised by adults.” Anyone caught igniting illegal fireworks in Iowa could face a fine of $750, plus court costs.