RAPID CITY, S.D. — Independence Day is usually a time of celebration, but festivities often involve fireworks and even alcohol, which can be dangerous alone but may have even worse outcomes when mixed.
Within Rapid City limits, fireworks aren’t legal, unless they’re of the novelty variety.
“There are code ordinances that prohibit the possession and the use and the transport and the storage and the sale of them,” explains Lieutenant Darren Soucy with the Rapid City Police Department. “So we would ask people within the city of Rapid City to just understand the difference and know that when they’re within our our area, that it is prohibited.”
Outside city limits, fireworks still must be handled safely.
“Our two major concerns during the 4th of July and concerns for fireworks are fire and injury. So for our children, we want them to not handle fireworks or discharge fireworks, have adult supervision, also have a water source on hand in case something happens that you didn’t expect,” suggests Lieutenant Chris Hislip with Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.
The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office also reminds residents to make sure they’re not trespassing during festivities.
“In Pennington County it’s also important for folks to have permission for wherever they’re there shooting off fireworks,” Lieutenant Hislip adds. “So areas like the school or in front of businesses or something, you must have permission before discharging those fireworks.”
Fireworks don’t always behave as people expect them to, so “if anything is lit, want to make sure that it either is fully blown up or, you know, obviously we don’t want to go and pick it up. We want to make sure that it’s doused with water, anything doesn’t light right away,” advises Danny Sandvig, Firefighter and EMT with the Rapid City Fire Department.
Officials also say that igniting explosives while under the influence is never a good idea.
“So us running out on someone that’s been hurt just because they’ve been drinking and trying to have fun, that stuff’s not going to mix,” Sandvig adds. “So we want to be sure that we’re having having fun being safe. We want to make sure everyone gets home at the end of the day.”
Agencies also see upticks in intoxicated driving and even boating over holiday weekends.
“We’re going to have an increased presence on the land, but also on the water in our parks,” adds Lieutenant Hislip. “We’re going to have an increase of law enforcement presence. So we work in collaboration with the Game, Fish & Parks for Operation Dry Water. So you’re going to see additional law enforcement presence on our lakes. “
A family-friendly holiday invites an opportunity to set good examples for kids and help them to build safe habits.
“We certainly ask that the adults make the best decisions they can in front of those kids,” says Lieutenant Soucy. “And if you’re really looking for fireworks, there is a display here with the city on Monday night…come down to that one and leave the rest of it to to the areas where it is legal and safe.”
Overall, Lieutenant Soucy says to “have fun, but make good choices. That’s the most important part of this.”