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OTTUMWA — With Independence Day less than a month away, fireworks stands will be opening across Iowa. City officials are reminding people to use caution, and take note of the hours for legal fireworks use in Ottumwa.

The city council tightened the use of fireworks for 2019 after reviewing issues and complaints. Fireworks are allowed in ottumwa from 4-10:30 p.m. on July 4. Other jurisdictions have other rules about when fireworks can be used.

Officials are asking that people use caution when handling or lighting fireworks. Any use of fireworks should be supervised by adults. That includes use of sparklers, which burn at around 2,000 degrees.

Once a fuse is lit, people should maintain a safe distance from the explosive. If the firework does not ignite properly, wait several minutes before approaching and never try to re-light it. Keeping a bucket of water nearby can help in case of fire and be used for dousing spent fireworks.

Most injuries caused by fireworks are to the hands and fingers, though injuries to the head and eyes are common. A bit of caution and common sense can go a long way toward keeping the celebrations safe.

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