Officials with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety encourage residents to leave exploding fireworks to the experts. My dog would be in favor of such a move as well.

I usually notice the neighbors are firing off their own fireworks when Jazzy cowers into the corner, even before I hear the pops and bangs. It starts well before July 4 and often is used to mark every holiday year-round.

Safety experts remind us that if it flies or explodes, it's illegal in Minnesota. They also urge caution when using legal fireworks. Use them in an open area away from houses or other structures. Children should be closely supervised if near fireworks. Have water nearby. Do not relight a firework that doesn't go off.

The safety department's website includes video from an individual serious injured in a fireworks accident five years ago.

Some fireworks that were sold in Wisconsin are the subject of a recall.

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