Staying safe and legal this 4th of July

Fireworks are a mainstay in many Fourth of July celebrations, but they may not be legal for your backyard.

In the state of Illinois, any firework that shoots in the air, explodes or creates fire is illegal.

You are allowed to have smaller fireworks, such as sparklers or smoke bombs.

"If it goes bang and if it makes fire, it's usually not legal in Illinois," said Quincy Fire Department Lieutenant Ralph Boden.

In Missouri, you can buy fireworks and set them off...but in many cities like Hannibal, you are not allowed to shoot them off within city limits.

In Iowa, it is legal to possess fireworks, but it is illegal to sell them or shoot them off.

Legal or not all fireworks should be used with caution.

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For this KHQA Safe Family report, Jarod Wells has some tips to keep everyone in your party safe.

Lieutenant Ralph Boden with the Quincy Fire Department used a thermal camera to show how hot a normal sparkler gets.

Boden said, "A lot of people figure children can play with sparklers and that it's a safe thing for them to do, they can run around and make fire. Well, we just want people to realize that these get over 400 degrees hot and it doesn't take long for that to burn somebody."

Sparklers can get much hotter.

Hummel said, "They can actually get up to 1800 degrees, it depends on the type of sparkler and things like that."

If you let your children use legal fireworks, be sure you keep a close eye on them.

Hummel said, "The younger the child is, the less coordination and understanding of the dangers they have."

And make sure they have a safe place to discard sparklers and other legal fireworks when they are finished. That way children won't step on a hot sparkler wire, and anything dry nearby will not catch fire.

Hummel said, "From a safe kids standpoint, our message is watch the legal public displays, that's the safest thing. If you do choose to use sparklers or the poppers with your children, make sure it's pretty much a one-on-one, that you are there supervising your children to ensure that they are not going to be hurt."

Going back to 2008, the number of firework related injuries across the country began to drop.

But there were still seven thousand people treated in emergency rooms and urgent care facilities from firework injuries, there were also six deaths.

Now fireworks, whether they are in your backyard or a public display, may be fun for humans, but can be a horrific experience for animals.

Animals have much more sensitive hearing than humans do, and since fireworks are normally only heard once a year, they can be very frightening to them.

So here are some tips from the Quincy Humane Society to keep your animals calm.

Leave them at home when you are going to see fireworks.

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And if you are leaving them at home, keep them inside so they cannot run off if they do get frightened.

It is also a good idea to leave a television or radio on to muffle the sound of fireworks.

"The other good thing is to make sure you have tags on your dog at all times so th a t if they do get away, they can be returned to you. so a tag with your name and phone number on it is always a good idea," said Veterinary Technician Rebecca Livesay.

The Quincy Humane Society says having tags on your dog is always a good idea, is especially important if you feel your animal will be scared by fireworks.