What is Independence Day without fireworks? Not a very good one. It is tradition to have a big, loud, bright Fourth of July. However, we are all aware how dangerous fireworks can be when not properly handled. The Office of the State Fire Marshal wants all of us to keep some important firework safety issues in mind.

Families are encouraged to attend professional, public firework shows. Everyone should purchase their fireworks from retail stands which have been properly inspected and permitted by the Office of the State Fire Marshal. If you see or notice any suspicious or illegal activity, contact the office immediately.

Illegal fireworks are normally wrapped with plain brown paper and go by such names as M80, Quarter Stick or Cherry Bombs. Consumer regulated fireworks are wrapped in bright, colorful paper and have safety warnings labeled.

All children should be supervised when around fireworks. Also, people under a heavy influence of alcohol should also be monitored or not allowed to handle fireworks at all. Do NOT shoot fireworks at one another or towards any buildings. Be careful and safe this Fourth of July!