GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)-- On the Fourth of July, the number of reported fires more than doubles, and nearly half of them are caused by fireworks.
But firefighters in Grand Rapids don't need to wait for the holiday. Battalion Chief Dan Caillouet says he recently responded to a fireworks fire that damaged six or seven buildings, and his battalion gets up to 50 fireworks complaints a day.
Here are his tips to protect your home from fireworks:
- When you're lighting off fireworks, have a functioning water hose nearby.
- Wet down your roof, especially if it is made of wood shingles.
- Track down every used firework to make sure it is extinguished properly.
- Always supervise children and teenagers who are lighting off fireworks.
Caillouet adds, "If you have a lot of dry brush, grass and whatnot and you're setting off these fireworks, you're endangering the property and lives of your fellow neighbors. So I think that key right there-adult supervision-is paramount.
Grand Rapids new ordinance restricting consumer fireworks to the day before, the day of and the day after a federal holiday took effect July 1. Anyone who uses airborne fireworks outside those times could be ticketed for disturbing the peace. Seven other communities have a similar ban, including Grandville, Wyoming, Hudsonville, Kentwood, Walker, Rockford and Muskegon Heights.