Hold your fire!

It’s that time of year when barbecue smells waft through the air, patriotic anthems play at parades and neighbors lighting fireworks make loud booms at odd hours of the night.
Julie Angell
Jul 1, 2014


July 4 is Friday, and the local police and fire departments are preparing for the annual abundance of firework-related injuries and complaints.

Lt. Clint Holt of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety said the biggest problem they deal with around holidays is noise complaints. Although the law prohibits firing off fireworks between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m., there are still rebels who wake their neighbors and cause disturbances.

Along with noise annoyances, Holt said the city deals with an even bigger issue when it comes to fireworks, especially during the busy summer season. Bright lights and loud noises can be enticing, especially around the heavily celebrated holiday, but injuries are far more likely with a large crowd.

“We see a lot of people lighting (fireworks) in highly dense areas,” Holt said.

Boisterous booms may attract people, but they scare away animals. More pets get lost on the Fourth of July than any other day, according a national safety service called Smart911.

Harbor Humane Society worker Janna Kruse estimates between 50 and 60 Ottawa County pets go missing during the July 4 holiday period. Noisy events like firework displays and thunderstorms panic animals, but getting your pet microchipped is an easy way to prevent a lost dog or cat, she said. 

“Many dogs actively go after fireworks, and this can lead to ingestion and expensive vet bills,” Kruse said. “I have personally seen animals missing for over a year go home because they were microchipped.”



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