GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The 4th of July is to firework sellers what Christmas is to other retailers — big business.
But it also means extra work for first responders.
“This week, because it’s been so dry, we’ve already had a grass fire and two house fires caused by fireworks,” said Grand Rapids Fire Marshall Ric Dokter.
“I don’t think we’ve seen conditions like this for about 10 years. And I remember 10 years ago we had a number of grass and brush fires,” he said.
Fireworks have been legal in Michigan since 2012.
Every year, the warning goes out about what can happen if you light up without taking precautions.
Dokter says one of the biggest mistakes people make is assuming the sparklers and firecrackers they set off are done burning.
“The house fires, people did clean up after themselves. But they did not wait until the fireworks were done smoldering. They put them in garbage bags next the house and unfortunately, we had one house fire that was quite damaging,” Dokter said.
That home, located on Withey Street SW, sustained serious damage. No one’ s been hurt so far.
Other safety precautions include: never stand too close, wear eye protection, don’t light off if your high or drunk and make sure things have cooled off.
“We recommend having a bucket or bin full of water and just dump everything in the bin when your done with it,” said Dokter.