Fourth of July

Illinois officials urge residents to avoid at-home fireworks this Fourth of July

Nearly 10,000 fireworks-related injuries were reported last year

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After the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that nearly 10,000 fireworks-related injuries and eight fatalities occurred in 2023, officials in Illinois are urging the public to leave the explosives to the pros.  

On Monday, the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance held an event ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, urging people to leave the fireworks to the professionals this holiday week.

The demonstration showed how a small spark could quickly engulf a person in flames.

Aileen Marquez attended the event to speak about her daughter who was severely burned at a Fourth of July barbeque.

“My daughter was five years old when 70% of her body was burned with a sparkler,” Marquez explained. “The years of turmoil and lifelong scars she has is what we’re trying to prevent.”

Fireworks can be dangerous not only for people, but for pets as well. According to experts, more pets go missing around the Fourth of July than any other time of year because of the sound of fireworks.

“Pets have sensitive hearing and fireworks can sound like bombs, terrifying them and triggering a flight response, causing them to run away as fast as they can.” Veterinarian Erin Newman said.

Newman suggests leaving cats indoors, and making sure any pets taken outside are on a secure leash. She also suggests walking dogs before dark, a time when the fireworks are likely to get more intense.

There are many fireworks shows available to people across the city and suburbs, including Navy Pier’s big show on Wednesday, July 3rd at 9:00 p.m.

“No one thinks it will happen to them or their loved ones, but our members have witnessed these injuries and loss of property caused by fireworks,” Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt said.

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