City encourages caution when lighting fireworks

Published on June 28, 2018

A group of friends holding fireworks

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The City of Grand Rapids is reminding residents to use caution when lighting fireworks this Fourth of July holiday.

According to the Grand Rapids Fire Department, 200 people on average go the emergency room every day across the country with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the Independence Day holiday. Annually, fireworks cause more than 18,500 fires. 

Fire Marshal Ric Dokter encourages residents to follow these safety tips when using fireworks: 

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Sparklers should be dropped in a bucket of water to fully extinguish. 
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully. Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly. Never point or throw fireworks at another person. 
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks are made for professional displays and they can pose a danger to consumers.
  • Do not use fireworks under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers. After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • For emergencies, call 911.

The Grand Rapids Police Department encourages you to enjoy the holiday season keeping in mind the current city ordinances, personal safety, and neighbor mindfulness. Remember, what goes up must come down, and your neighbors appreciate when fireworks do not land on their property.

Michigan State Law prohibits the use of fireworks on public lands, including public streets and parks. Business parking lots also are excluded without the owner’s specific consent. Violators are subject to prosecution.

Grand Rapids ordinance allows for consumer fireworks to be used only the day of, day before and day after national holidays. For Fourth of July, that means July 3-5. The use of fireworks is prohibited between midnight and 8 a.m.