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GR Fire Officials Urge Caution When Using Fireworks

picture of fireworks for sale sign
Flickr, unlicensed photo

With the fourth of July holiday fast approaching, the City of Grand Rapids is once again urging residents to use extreme caution when lighting fireworks this year. 

“Every year, where we are having people injured in the U.S. and significant injuries I might add. Not just minor burns, but these can be quite significant if you don’t follow good safety practices.”

Lt. William Smith, Public Information Officer for the Grand Rapids Fire Department is warning residents to play it safe when using fireworks.  The City’s fireworks ordinance reflects state law governing the use of consumer grade-fireworks.  There’s a one-thousand-dollar fine for violations.  Per the ordinance, residents can use fireworks from 11 am until 11:45 pm from June 29th through July 4th, among other periods.  Lt Smith says their goal is to keep people safe.  He says fireworks burn, blind and disfigure hundreds of people every year… many of them children.

“And let me tell you, in knowing burn survivors, that I’ve met during my 30 years in the fire service, this is not an experience that anyone should ever have to go through.”

To hopefully reduce fireworks accidents, Lt. Smith has numerous tips, including.

“Never allow children to use fireworks without adult supervision, and don’t use fireworks that you have made yourself-these can be quite dangerous.  And, know how to put a fire out if one occurs and as always, the foundation for this, if you have an incident, call 9-1-1.”

Lt. Smith adds also says “the best way to avoid a fireworks accident is to leave it to the professionals.”

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.