Although widely used to celebrate holidays such as the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve, fireworks are dangerous to the average consumer. The injury and fire hazards they present have led to many cities banning their use. Fireworks are legal in Missouri, but not in Kansas City. If you wish to see fireworks in Kansas City on the 4th, you will need to find a professional show put on by pyrotechnic experts.
Where Are Fireworks Legal in Missouri?
Kansas City Ordinance No. 150169 prohibits the use of fireworks by the general population. The purpose of this rule is to safeguard people and premises from the hazards of fires and explosions. Section 26-5608.16.1 of the ordinance states that, with a few noted exemptions, it is unlawful for any person to possess, keep, sell, use or explode any fireworks within city limits in Kansas City. Exemptions include pyrotechnic experts, firework dealers and wholesalers.
However, throughout the rest of Missouri, fireworks are allowed in the following cities within the legal parameters set by each municipality:
- Blue Springs
- Grain Valley
- Lee’s Summit
- Platte City
Fireworks are prohibited within the city or county limits of Kansas City, North Kansas City, Grandview, Gladstone and Jackson County. Keep in mind that each city that allows fireworks in Missouri has its own unique rules. Most only allow fireworks on certain days and at certain times, such as July 1 to 3 from 10 a.m. to midnight. Check the laws in your city and county before you celebrate Independence Day with fireworks to make sure you’re following the rules. Setting off fireworks in a place that prohibits them can lead to expensive fines.
Are Fireworks Only Available During Certain Times of Year?
Yes. Missouri law stipulates that consumer fireworks may only be sold between June 20 to July 10 and December 20 to January 2. It is possible to purchase consumer fireworks within these windows in permitted cities in Missouri. In Kansas City, however, only pyrotechnic experts with valid permits can purchase fireworks, and only for a public exhibition or display of fireworks. At the time of purchase, the expert must provide the seller with a permit or a copy of the permit obtained for the public exhibition of fireworks.
Only consumer fireworks that comply with the regulations of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may be sold. A consumer firework is defined as an explosive device designed to produce visual or audio effects by combustion. It includes both ground devices and aerial devices that are not classed for professional use. The purchaser must be at least 14 years of age unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
What Are Common Firework Injuries?
Missouri and Kansas City’s rules regarding fireworks are in place for the safety of the public. Firework injuries are more common than most consumers think. According to the CPSC, in 2019, there were an estimated 10,000 injuries and 12 deaths related to fireworks in the U.S. Many consumers underestimate the dangers associated with fireworks and do not use them safely or prudently. Others may be injured by defective fireworks.
The most commonly treated firework-related injuries are:
- Explosion/blast injuries
- Eye and ear injuries
- Shrapnel injuries
- Traumatic amputations (especially the fingers)
- Concussions and other brain injuries
Firework injuries most often affect the hands, fingers, legs, eyes, head and face (in order from most to least). Children 4 years old and younger had the highest rate of emergency injuries related to fireworks, followed by teens 15 to 19. Despite the common misconception, even sparklers are not safe, especially for children. Sparklers can burn at temperatures high enough to melt metal and can cause severe burn injuries.
Stay safe this Fourth of July by leaving fireworks to the professionals. If you or a loved one does suffer a firework injury due to someone else’s carelessness, contact the attorneys at Dickerson Oxton, LLC to find out if you have grounds for an injury claim.