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Avoid fireworks injuries during holiday weekend

Posted by Admin On July - 3 - 2011

A Message from Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez


What started as a thirteen gun salute on the one year anniversary of the signing of the  Declaration of Independence has evolved into a national holiday, complete with picnics, backyard barbecues, patriotic decorations and full-blown professional fireworks displays.

 As the 4th of July approaches, please keep in mind that fireworks pose a serious safety hazard.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 7,000 people were treated for fireworks related injuries in 2008, with more than half of these injuries being burns.  And while you may see the occasional news story about a curious child being injured, the majority of these injuries happen to otherwise responsible adults.

Not only are fireworks dangerous, the vast majority of them are illegal in Illinois.  While neighboring states, such as Indiana and Wisconsin, may have more relaxed laws regarding fireworks, a good rule of thumb is this:  if it explodes or shoots a projectile into the air, it is illegal in Illinois.  This does mean that novelty fireworks, such as sparklers, snakes and party poppers can be sold in Illinois but, remember, any firework, legal or not, can cause injury if used improperly or without adult supervision.

Don’t risk injury to yourself or others this holiday weekend by trying to put on your own private fireworks display.  Visit one of the many municipal sponsored events in your area.  With the 4th of July falling on a Monday this year, there will be plenty of opportunities, all weekend long, to catch impressive, professionally conducted fireworks displays, from a safe distance.

Have a wonderful 4th of July Holiday Weekend!

 Anita Alvarez

Cook County State’s Attorney

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