The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

July 1, 2013

Police offer fireworks safety tips

STAFF REPORT
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Fireworks displays are best left in the hands of professionals is the message Danville’s Department of Public Safety wants to get out.

The upcoming Fourth of July promises to have plenty of legal fireworks displays put on by organizations in Danville, but individual use is not permitted, according to a press release.

Larry Thomason, director of public safety, said fireworks, other than those approved by state statute, can subject an individual to arrest and be charged with a misdemeanor or violation of the city’s fire prevention code and confiscation of the remaining products.

“The only ‘fireworks’ considered legal to possess by an individual not licensed to handle them include smoke or glow worm pellets, smoke devices, sparklers, noisemakers known as ‘party poppers,’ ‘snappers’ or paper caps,” he said in the release. “Specific prohibition exists for handheld fireworks, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles and buzz bombs.”

Thomason cautioned that sparklers, while permitted, are dangerous items, especially if left in the hands of young children.

“Sparklers can heat up to a core temperature of 1800 degrees Fahrenheit,” he said in the release. “That’s hot enough to melt some precious metals, and third-degree burns can result at 220 degrees Fahrenheit. We strongly recommend against purchasing these items and suggest leaving the displays to professionals.”

Department of Safety police officers and firefighters will be on the lookout for illegal use of fireworks with zero tolerance and will take the appropriate enforcement action. Each year numerous calls are received about illegal fireworks being set off and, sometimes, although rare, the fire service is called out to extinguish a fire started by fireworks.

“We want everyone to have a safe holiday,” Thomason said in the release, “and if adults decide to allow sparklers at their homes, we have some suggestions to follow.”

Thomason also said fireworks of any type are prohibited in all city parks.