CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A fire broke out around midnight Monday night after the Fourth of July festivities came to a close at Twisted Cedar Court in Chesterfield. Chesterfield Fire Department determined the cause of the fire to be improperly discarded fireworks.

Frank Hall, a fireworks safety advocate and spokesperson for Big Blast Fireworks in Mechanicsville said firework disposal is a crucial part of at-home fireworks safety.

“Always safety that’s the first priority. Safety first,” Hall said.

According to Hall, fireworks are best kept in cool dry places, and never in an area with a lot of sunlight.

While the American Fireworks Association said fireworks can be stored up to around six or seven years, Hall believes the risk is too great to keep them in for more than two years because the material can get drier and the fuse can burn faster.

Proper post-fireworks show protocol recommends ensuring fireworks are covered in water immediately following their use.

“Take a water hose and just make sure to douse them,” Hall said. “Once you’ve doused them, put them in a plastic bag and put them off to the side, wait until maybe the next day.”

Hall said it is important to educate yourself before using or even just storing these explosives, and reminded the community just how easily things can go amiss with such flammable devices.

“It takes a spark to ignite a firework,” Hall said.

Hall also notes that because safety is of utmost importance, if any community members have questions about how to properly dispose of their used at-home fireworks, they are welcome to take these dead explosives to fireworks shops like Big Blast, where an expert can discard them.