Brent Hunt of Brent Hunt's Bistineau Blasters Fireworks in Sibley restocks shelves shelves at his stand. Hunt is a captain with the Minden Fire Department and reminds people to use fireworks with caution. Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

As the nation celebrates its independence this weekend, officials are reminding everyone to use caution when shooting fireworks.

Minden Fire Chief Kip Mourad says it is important that people remember safety is key to having a fun Fourth of July. He offered a few tips and reminders as this weekend will be hot and dry.

“This weekend is supposed to be hot, and it’s drying up pretty quick,” he said.

He says the weather plays a large role in how many fire calls they will get over the holiday weekend. If it’s hot and dry, they get more calls than if it has recently rained.

In other tips, he says it’s important that adults are present with children and fireworks.

“Don’t let the kids light them while they are in their hands,” he said. “And no one should throw a firework. Also, make sure to fire ones like bottle rockets away from people or houses.”

Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper is asking people to be mindful of their neighbors. For those whose neighbors are military veterans, he says as a courtesy, inform them when they are going to shoot fireworks.

“When they are expecting it and suffer from PTSD, they can deal with it,” he said, “but if they start hearing them without expecting it, sometimes it triggers things. If you have anyone living next door to you that are in the military, contact them and let them know you are going to discharge fireworks.”

Cropper adds it is illegal to shoot firearms inside the city limits.

“Firearms are not fireworks,” he said. What goes up must come down.”

The National Council on Fireworks Safety offered the following tips when shooting fireworks this weekend:

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Light one firework at a time and then move away quickly.
  • Never re-light a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place them into a metal trashcan away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.

“The main thing is be safe, be smart,” Cropper said.