A staple of July, fireworks are a celebration of the nation’s Declaration of Independence from Britain. However, the rocket’s red glare might not be able to fly this summer due to the incoming heat.
It is common to see tents springing up all throughout the month of June, but fireworks sales during the summer range June 20 to July 10. The Missouri Department of Public Safety regulates firework sales through the Division of Fire Safety.
“Approximately 1,500 permits are issued annually to manufacturers, wholesalers, jobbers, distributors and seasonal retailers of fireworks,” the website says. “In addition, the division is responsible for conducting inspections of any facility involved with fireworks.”
Springfield prohibits the use of public fireworks within city limits, but a certain form can be filled out to allow a business to set them off. Certain novelty items, such as snappers, are not classified as explosives, so are allowed.
Even outside of city limits, Missourians have to keep an eye on the Fire Danger Index to know whether fireworks are allowed.
The National Fire Danger Rating System allows fire departments to gauge an area’s likelihood to burn due to a fire’s ability to spread quickly. Levels range from low to extreme, with the latter resulting in burnings that last several days.
The National Weather Service determines the fire danger for a given area. As of June 21, Springfield’s Fire Danger Index was low.
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Andrew Richardson, co-owner of the R&R Fireworks, thinks this summer will see an increase in business since “patriotism seems to be growing.” R&R is located at 3335 W. Sunshine St.
Richardson said even though temperatures may be getting high, he believes fireworks are still safe to shoot off.
“It’s green everywhere,” Richardson said. “And there’s always a little bit of rain before the Fourth. Plus the index has been at a low for a while.”
Richardson said fountain-based fireworks are the best seller. R&R carries several types of fountains, including some shaped as swords.
Tinsley Merriman is a general assignment intern at the Springfield Daily Citizen. He’s currently a senior at Missouri State University studying journalism, and most recently worked as section editor of Campus Life for the student-led newspaper The Standard.