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With the 4th of July here, local officials are asking citizens to practice safe habits throughout the holiday weekend.

The biggest concern is the issue of fireworks safety. Jerry Milton with the public health and safety department for the city of Clinton says the 4th of July is a fun time, but he reminds parents to keep a watch on kids who are handling fireworks.

[audio:fireworkssafety1.mp3]A Word from Commisssioner Milton[/audio]

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner reminds residents to use common sense when enjoying the Independence Day holiday. He also reminds folks fireworks are explosives, and need to be handled carefully. 

[audio:fireworkssafety2.mp3]A Word From Sheriff Shofner[/audio]

The fireworks of the illegal variety will almost definitely get shot off throughout the weekend. Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton says if you are going to handle those, observing the city regulations of distance from buildings and objects. He also suggest using a punk instead of a lighter or matches to light those fireworks off.

[audio:fireworkssafety3.mp3]A Word From Chief Milton[/audio]

Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy gives parents a tip on how to tell if their children's fireworks are legal or not. He says if they say "Caution", they are legal in Illinois, however, if they are labeled "Warning", then they are illegal. Chief Reidy also notes possession of illegal fireworks is a criminal offense.

[audio:fireworkssafety4.mp3]A Word From Chief Reidy[/audio]

Authorities also ask to practice safe drinking habits. If you have been drinking, do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle, appoint a designated driver, alcohol is involved in over 40 percent of fatal crashes in Illinois.

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