Practice common sense in lighting fireworks

Fireworks — they’re nearly as Americana as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie. Unless you eat massive amounts of the other three, fireworks are also far more dangerous.
Jul 3, 2014

In 2012, Michigan enacted a new fireworks law, allowing residents to purchase and shoot off bigger fireworks year-round. No longer is there a need to travel to Ohio to purchase your fireworks; all one has to do is look for the large tents that dot many street corners throughout the area.

Sparklers, bottle rockets and Roman candles are just a few of the many items now being purchased by the young and old alike.

With two years under our belt with the new law, the dangers associated with this popular summertime activity certainly aren’t diminished. Actually, with the more-lax laws comes the increased opportunity for injury.

First and foremost, use common sense and be mindful of others and their personal property. Even if you are operating within the legal limits of the law, respect your neighbors or others who might be nearby.

It’s likely that touching off a few bottle rockets at midnight isn’t going to be received well by your neighbors if they’ve been in bed since 10:30, or if you startle their sleeping children. Those same neighbors will not likely find much joy in pulling the stem out of their lawn mower the next day.

Oftentimes, fireworks are being lit after a long day of fun in the sun, perhaps even after a few libations. Alcohol ramps up the bravery level. Don’t allow this to cloud your judgment.

Never should you try to relight a firework that didn’t ignite the first time. Doing so is likely to result in a quick trip to the emergency room, at which point you’ll miss all the fun.

Have water nearby. Not only could it prevent a fire, but it could also be used as a form of first aid in case the advice immediately above didn’t sink in with you.

Above all else, remember that celebrations are always better when everyone remains safe.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty, Fred VandenBrand and Mark Brooky. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

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