Every year the Cook County Sheriff’s Police confiscate thousands of pounds of illegal fireworks throughout Cook County and Sheriff Dart is encouraging everyone to use caution and be safe during this 4th of July season.
Although the rules vary based on what part of Illinois you live in, for the most part, nearly ALL fireworks are illegal in Illinois.
All “consumer fireworks”— such as M-80’s — are illegal and you will be arrested if you are found in possession of them. “Novelty fireworks,”—such as sparklers and glowworms — are considered legal throughout most of Cook County, but can still be extremely dangerous and Sheriff Dart urges you to use caution and to remain within the legal guidelines of your city, town or municipality. “It is important to know what is and is not legal and to be careful no matter how you choose to spend the holiday,” said Sheriff Dart, “even sparklers can be extremely dangerous, particularly to children.”
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission – there are nearly 9,000 emergency room-treated injuries that are a result of fireworks each year. Some can be fatal.
“Children in particular are extremely vulnerable to the dangers of fireworks and it is important to just leave the firework displays to the professionals, not only from a legal standpoint, but from a safety standpoint as well,” said Sheriff Dart. “Making matters worse this year is the lack of rain we have experienced the past few weeks. The drought has dried everything up which greatly increases the chances of starting a fire. Many professional shows have been cancelled as a result of the lack of rain because the risk of fire is too high. Please be careful.”
If you do choose to participate in 4th of July celebrations, Sheriff Dart urges you to follow the tips below:
Tips for 4th of July safety:
- Do not purchase, use or sell illegal fireworks – ever
-Be aware of what the rules/regulations are where you live – and stay within the legal parameters
- NEVER LET CHILDREN PLAY WITH FIREWORKS (lit or unlit—even legal ones are extremely dangerous)
- Wear eye protection when lighting anything
- Do not carry fireworks in your pocket –even unlit. The friction with legal fireworks such as sparklers, glowworms, etc. can set them off
- Always read the directions that come with legal fireworks
- Do not let children touch any fireworks even after they are extinguished; they may still be too hot to the touch. Place extinguished ones in a bucket of water
- Keep pets away from all fireworks
- Do not drink and drive
If you or a child is injured, immediately call 911. The most common places injuries occur are the face, eyes, hands, head and ears. If an eye injury occurs, do not touch the eye or flush with water; this can cause more damage. It is advised that you cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it around the eye and seek immediate medical attention. If you or someone you know experiences a burn, immediately apply cold water; DO NOT APPLY ICE and call your doctor immediately.
Every year Cook County Sheriff’s Police confiscate thousands of pounds of illegal fireworks; last year numbers totaled nearly 4500 pounds. The Cook County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad then safely destroys all illegal fireworks that are confiscated.
Once again Sheriff Dart encourages you to enjoy your holiday and all the celebrations that surround it, but to be safe when doing so.
For more legal information about fireworks, please visit: http://www.sfm.illinois.gov/documents/Fireworks2011.pdf