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City of Ann Arbor issues fireworks safety tips ahead of July 4 holiday

City of Ann Arbor issues fireworks safety tips ahead of July 4 holiday
City of Ann Arbor issues fireworks safety tips ahead of July 4 holiday 02:59

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - The City of Ann Arbor is reminding residents of the best practices and safety measures when it comes to lighting fireworks leading up to the July 4 holiday. 

It's particularly busy for first responders, who field numerous calls related to damaged property and injuries. 

"Fourth of July is always a busy time of year not only from an injury perspective but also from a fire perspective," said Ann Arbor Fire Chief Mike Kennedy. "We end up with a lot of burn injuries from people holding them inappropriately, setting them off, setting them off into a crowd. From us, from a fire safety perspective, individuals are responsible for where the fireworks land. So, if you set off fireworks and it sets a fire, you could be both criminally and civilly responsible for that."

Associate professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Michigan, Brad Uren, said he's seen "just about every body part" injured in fireworks accidents. 

"I've seen severe burns. I've seen people lose eyes. I've even seen fatalities," Uren said. "The types of injuries that we see in the emergency department in that sort of month around the Fourth of July are really related to either burns, shrapnel injuries from explosions, direct explosive injuries and blunt force injuries from large flying objects, usually mortar style fireworks." 

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 11,500 people were treated in the emergency room for firework-related injuries in 2021. The majority of those injuries occurred during the weeks surrounding the July Fourth holiday. 

City officials are also reminding residents of the importance of firework safety:  

1.      Always keep a water source nearby and keep fireworks away from your face  

2.      Toss sparklers into a bucket filled with water after use  

3.      Don't launch fireworks near fields or forests  

4.      Don't try to reignite a firework that won't go off 

Kennedy also reminded residents to keep an eye on their pets during this time of year. 

"The Fourth of July is the number one day of the year where pets get lost," he said. "This can be a very traumatic time of year for pets. If you have cats, dogs, that are maybe indoor/outdoor, keep them indoors because those explosions can really wreak havoc on pets and you don't want to have a missing pet over the holiday." 

Michigan state law allows for fireworks to be set between June 29 and July 4. 

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