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The City of Grand Rapids is urging residents to use extreme caution when lighting fireworks.

picture of fireworks for sale sign
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The Fire Marshal has a few tips if you choose to light them yourself.

The City of Grand Rapids is urging residents to use extreme caution when lighting fireworks. The Fire Marshal has a few tips if you choose to light them yourself.

A growing number of city residents are lighting consumer grade fireworks as part of their annual holiday celebrations. That from a news release from the City of Grand Rapids. It says for everyone’s safety, the Grand Rapids fire and police departments are encouraging users to be aware of fireworks regulations and safety tips before lighting up the sky.

The City’s fireworks ordinance, limiting the use of them within Grand Rapids, reflects state law governing the use of consumer-grade fireworks. It sets a civil fine of $1,000 for each violation of the fireworks ordinance. The ordinance also sets the times and dates when fireworks may be set off throughout the year.

According to Fire Marshal Ric Dokter of the Grand Rapids Fire Department Prevention Division, fireworks hurt hundreds of people every year – many of them children. Dokter says quote, “Our goal every year is to promote fireworks safety to ensure that not a single family in Grand Rapids suffers the pain and sorrow of a fireworks injury.”

To reduce fireworks accidents, Dokter provides a few tips including: reading and following all warnings and instructions contained on the package. Never allow children to play with or ignite any fireworks. Sparklers, although considered by many the ideal "safe" firework for the young, burn at extremely high temperatures and can easily ignite clothing. Many children do not understand the danger involved and cannot act appropriately in case of emergency, keep a bucket of water, or garden hose handy in case of a malfunction or fire and never light a firework while holding it in your hand.

Fire Marshal Dokter adds, “The best way to avoid a fireworks accident is to leave fireworks 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.