Dustin Dienst. Faribault Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director told KDHL AM Minnesota listeners today there are multiple areas people need to think safety this holiday weekend.

Fireworks are always an issue around the 4th of July with an average of 75 hospital visits each year in Minnesota due to fireworks injuries.  The Department of Public Safety says nearly 45 percent of fireworks injuries each year happen to children.

Dienst says it's pretty simple, "Fireworks that explode or shoot into the air are illegal in Minnesota."

What's legal you ask?  Sparklers, fountains, ground spinners and snappers.

Make sure you always point firworks away from people and animals.

Use fireworks in an open area away from trees and houses.

Extinguish and dispose of spent fireworks in a bucket of water.  Do not try to relight a dud.

Always use caution around fireworks, make sure children are supervised.

Boating safety was another area discussed.  I checked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources out of curiosity to see how we compare today from the past.

The first year such statistics are listed is 1945 when there were 167 boating fatalities and non-boating drownings.

The two categories were first separated in 1961.

In 1976 there were 101 boat fatalities.  Since that year Minnesota has not gone over the 100 mark.

In 2021 there were 18 boating fatalities, 69 non-fatal boating accidents and 53 non-boat drownings in the Gopher state.

Last year there were 26 boating accidents where a collision was involved with another watercraft.

7 boats collided with a fixed or floating object.

4 boats capsized.

1 boat collision with underwater object.

6 fires/explosions.

8 falls overboard.

In 2005 Minnesota passed a law requiring children under the age of 10 to wear a life jacket while boating.

Dienst also pointed out something we don't often hear when discussing safety over the Independance Day holiday.

Being safe on the roads to our destinations.  Drinking and driving vehicles or boats means trouble.  Please don't do it.

Below you can listen to the AM Minnesota program where Dienst discussed being safe for our Nation's birthday.


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