How to properly dispose fireworks in Missouri and store those that go unused

Updated: Jul. 4, 2021 at 8:00 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - We all have our favorite ways to celebrate the Fourth of July. However you choose to celebrate, fireworks will be lighting up the sky Sunday as we celebrate Independence Day.

“I’m going over to a friend’s and they’re gonna have some family and some great food. They’re going to cookout, we’re going to bring some fireworks, and we’re going to have a great time,” said Kristine Schuttler.

“We’re going to spend time at home and enjoy family and have a good time,” said Belinda Bedell, who is hosting a cookout.

Depending on how you celebrate, there’s a chance you may end up with a surplus of fireworks at home. But how do you dispose of fireworks? And what do you do if some go unused?

First, the Missouri Department of Public Safety recommends soaking all fireworks, including unused ones, in a bucket of water before disposing of them.

“Just be sure that you are not doing things like burning it in your trash if you are out in the county in a trash burner,” said Andrew Richardson with R&R Fireworks.

Regardless if your fireworks are old, unused or partially set off, they could be harmful without this step. In your trash, they can ignite powders, potentially causing an explosion that could be dangerous.

If you have some fireworks that you’re going to save for next year, make sure you store them somewhere that doesn’t experience drastic temperature changes.

“Ether cooler temperatures or hotter temperatures cause a chemical reaction, and it causes the atoms to become completely different chemicals, which can cause a firework to explode when it’s not supposed to or malfunction in some way,” said Richardson.

Experts recommend storing fireworks in a labeled box away from children, particularly one that has a lock.

It is best to only keep fireworks for a year, but Richardson says some can have up to a five-year shelf life.

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