Independence Day is this Monday, July 4, but many organizations in Southwest Michigan will be hosting fireworks displays throughout the holiday weekend. MLive has prepared a list of fireworks displays taking place in the Kalamazoo area, which is available here.
Kalamazoo Public Safety would like to remind residents and visitors of the City of Kalamazoo that incorporating a few basic fireworks safety steps can provide for a safe and enjoyable holiday and avoid a disastrous injury or fire.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (based on 2000-2010 data), the risk of fire death relative to hours of usage is higher for fireworks than for cigarettes, making fireworks the riskiest consumer product. Fireworks, like bottle rockets, sparklers, and small firecrackers can appear harmless to children, but during the 30 days surrounding July 4, these kinds of fireworks injure an estimated 1,000 children under the age of 5.
If you do decide to buy fireworks, be sure to take the following safety steps:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging; often, this can be a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
- Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
- Move away to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not gone off or fully functioned.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light one item at a time, then move away quickly.
- After fireworks have gone off and fully functioned, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding, to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
Additional safety information is available at www.fireworksafety.com.
If you choose to celebrate Independence Day by enjoying consumer fireworks, please be respectful of your neighbors and abide by the regulations set forth in the City's Code of Ordinances. The use of fireworks is regulated by specific ordinances pertaining to their use as well as the general noise ordinance.
A. A person shall not ignite, discharge or use consumer fireworks except during permitted hours on the day preceding, the day of, or the day after a national holiday.
B. No person shall ignite, discharge or use consumer fireworks between the hours of 12 midnight and 8:00 a.m. of the day preceding, the day of, or the day after a national holiday, except that on New Year's Day no person shall ignite, discharge or use consumer fireworks between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
C. No person shall ignite, discharge or use consumer fireworks on public property, school property, church property or the property of another person without that organization's or person's express permission to use consumer fireworks on those premises.
D. Consumer fireworks shall not be sold to a minor.
The ignition, discharge or use of consumer fireworks shall be subject to the general prohibition contained at § 21-6 of the Kalamazoo City Code, which addresses continued excessive or unusually loud noise, measured or unmeasured, which disrupts, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of any person within the limits of the City.
A person who violates this article is responsible for a municipal civil infraction and may be ordered to pay a civil fine of not more than $500.
Please be safe and respectful, and have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend!