Firework Safety Tips and Burn Restrictions

The Fourth of July is upon us as the burgers and brats are prepared, coolers filled and fireworks purchased for a weekend of celebration.

Fireworks are a tradition stemming from America’s very first Independence Day. As exciting as they are to set off and watch, safety must be in the forefront to ensure a safe and successful weekend for the community.

Firework safety and laws

Deputy Fire Marshal Jill Knapkewicz, Lieutenant Josh Larson and Fire Inspector Charles Meno of the Williston Fire Department have tips to help keep everyone safe while handling fireworks:

  • No alcohol

  • Adult supervision  for children under 16 years of age - young children should not light fireworks

  • Shoot one at a time

  • Establish a perimeter of ignition - set fireworks off on a driveway, not in the grass

  • Have water nearby - a hose, bucket of water and fire extinguisher

  • Store fireworks in a safe space away from where you are lighting them off

  • Never light fireworks that have become damp or wet

  • Follow manufacturers recommendations for specific fireworks

  • Don’t throw fireworks away until they have been sprayed with water to ensure they are out

  • Be considerate of your neighbors

  • Don’t hesitate to call 911 if a fire is started or someone is hurt

The sale of fireworks is only permitted from June 27 through July 5  in North Dakota and the purchaser must be at least 12 years of age. In the city of Williston, fireworks may be set off on July 4 through 1 a.m. on July 5, according to the City of Williston fireworks code.

The Williston Fire Department inspects each fireworks stand and vendor for safety measures. They are prepared and standing by in case of emergency.

Lieutenant Larson encourages the community to not be afraid to call 911, even at the slightest hesitation.

“Even if you put (the fire) out, it’s better that you have us on the way,” Fire Inspector Meno explains. “Better have us and not need us than to need us and not have us.”

Most of the calls the fire department receives during July 4 involve roof fires and dumpster fires in which fireworks were not properly put out.

Burn restrictions

Burn restrictions also play a big role in the use of fireworks. If the Fire Danger Rating is above high, the use of fireworks is restricted.

Restrictions change daily.  William’s County Emergency Manager Mike Smith says that the community should check the Williams County website to view the current rating as well as the restrictions that go along at before using fireworks.


Smith also suggests wetting the area where fireworks will be lit,  keeping a bucket of water nearby and careful disposal of firework boxes.

“(To avoid dumpster fires) we have a big trash can full of water and we drop the whole box in there to let it soak,” Smith said. “Do check the burn rating. If a fire is started, they are responsible.”

Stay safe this Fourth of July and don’t hesitate to call 911 if an incident does occur.

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top