City reminds citizens to be safe on Fourth of July

Staff Report

ROCKFORD – The Rockford Police and Rockford Fire departments are reminding citizens to be safe during the upcoming Independence Day holiday.

Officials say on average, 280 people, most often children and teens, go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the Fourth of July. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks, which may include devastating burns, injuries, fires, and even death.

“Most fireworks, some of which include bottle rockets, firecrackers, sky rockets and roman candles, are illegal in Illinois,” the city said in a release. “‘Sky Lanterns’ or paper lanterns that contain a small candle or fuel cell that heats the air in the lantern, causing it to rise, are also illegal in Illinois.”

Individuals involved in illegal fireworks activities will be investigated and issued the appropriate citations. Fines can range from $50 to $750, depending on the severity of the incident.

Citizens are also reminded to exercise caution and sound judgement when driving on July 4. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to drunk-driving crashes.

Festival attendees are reminded to designate a sober driver or plan to use alternate methods of transportation if they plan on drinking. Motor vehicle occupants are also reminded that buckling up with a seat belt is one of the simplest ways to save lives and reduce risk of injuries.

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