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Proper Storage, Disposal Encouraged for Fireworks

Whether you chose to bring out the big guns or kept it simple with fireworks this year, officials say it's important to make sure any that did or didn't get used are taken care of.

"There really isn't an expiration date," Fireworks Depot Store Manager Derrick Suckow said.

For sparklers, the best way to ensure they can be disposed properly is to put them in water.

"What we tell people to do is have a bucket of water handy or nearby and submerge them in the water for a couple seconds or a couple minutes before you dispose of them," Wausau Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeremy Kopp said.

On the flip side, for fireworks that have been exposed to damp environments, their effectiveness may suffer, especially if you've tried to dry them off.

"You don't ever, ever want to dry out fireworks after they've gotten wet or gotten damp," Suckow said.

To avoid potential disasters, it's recommended to keep fireworks in areas that are non-flammable.

"You're going to want to put them in a clean environment where they're out of reach of children and they're not at an environment where the temperatures drastically change, where they're going to get from hot to cold or there'll be moisture and things like that," Kopp said.

"A lot of times people will want to store them in a basement. On a shelf could be OK, but it's really a good idea to keep them in a cardboard box," Suckow said.

If you're in a situation where you're not sure, "Read the manufacturer's instructions. If the manufacturer's instructions state a certain way to do something you should always follow that first before you just assume you know the right way to do it," Kopp said.

Some jurisdictions may not even let you store fireworks past a few days, be sure to check with your local ordinances.

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