Grand Rapids limits fireworks use
Independence Day may be a bit quieter in the city of Grand Rapids.
Grand Rapids city commissioners recently updated the city’s ordinance to reduce the number of days residents can shoot off fireworks while beefing up the fines structure.
Per the new ordinance, fireworks may be set off only between 11 a.m.-11:45 p.m. Saturday, June 29 to Friday, July 5. A civil fine of $1,000 for each violation will be in effect. State law prohibits igniting fireworks on public streets, sidewalks and rights of way, and at parks, churches and schools.
The Grand Rapids Fire Department also is offering tips for how residents can stay safe when lighting fireworks this Fourth of July.
“Our goal every year is to promote fireworks safety,” GRFD Lt. Bill Smith said. “We want to make sure no family in our community experiences the pain and sorrow of a fireworks injury.”
Smith said fireworks accidents can result in individuals being burned, blinded, maimed, disfigured or even killed. To prevent injury, the fire department offered the following fireworks safety tips:
- Don’t allow children to play with or ignite any fireworks. Sparklers, while considered "safe" for children, burn at very high temperatures and can ignite clothing easily.
- Keep a bucket of water handy in case fireworks malfunction or catch fire.
- Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
- Make sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks. Never set off a firework at or near another person.
- Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves and flammable materials. Don’t light a firework while holding it in your hand.
- Don’t try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned. Douse and soak them with water and throw them away.
- Don’t ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
- Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
- Don’t have any portion of your body directly over fireworks while lighting.
- Don't experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Don’t drink alcohol while setting off fireworks.
- Observe local laws.