GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Fourth of July holiday week means thousands of fireworks will be blasted.
While fireworks are a staple, they are equally entertaining as they are dangerous. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are more than 16,000 reported fires started by fireworks every year. Sparklers account for roughly a quarter of emergency room visits from fireworks injuries.
The Grand Rapids Fire Department Lt. William Smith talked about fireworks safety with 24 Hour News 8. Smith suggests community members go to public shows put on by experts, instead of lighting off their own fireworks.
“You may not light these in the street, you may not take them to a public park — that’s illegal,” said Smith. “We do not want you getting in trouble and facing a fine for something that’s outside the parameter of law.”
For those who will be taking part in lighting off their own, Smith has tips when it comes to staying safe:
- Light fireworks from a safe location, away from structures or anything combustible;
- Light fireworks off level ground, like a cement pad or a driveway;
- Have a bucket of water or hose around, in case of an unexpected fire;
- For any fireworks that turn into duds, wait a while before you walk over to check on it;
- Keep an eye on children that are outside enjoying the fireworks.
“What we want you to do is be safe with the lighting the fireworks,” said Smith. “Make sure that you’re not pointing them at each other and never light them while they’re in your hand. We see many injuries during this season, people going to the emergency room or having to call 911.”