Chicago fire officials urge safety ahead of July 4th fireworks

Fourth of July fireworks should be left to the professionals, CFD says

Friday, July 1, 2022
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Fireworks are banned statewide in Illinois, and sparklers and bottle rockets are additionally banned in the city of Chicago.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's that time of year: The Chicago Fire department is giving the annual warning to leave fireworks to the professionals.

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Joined by fireworks safety advocates and doctors at the University of Chicago Comer Children's hospital, Chicago Fire Department officials once again warned of the dangers of fireworks Thursday morning, as many prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.

"A split second can change everything," said Aileen Marquez.

She knows it's firsthand. Eleven years ago her then-5-year-old daughter Isabella was engulfed in flames after another child's sparkler caught her dress on fire. She suffered burns over 705 of her body.

"She will forever have those physical scars and she, as her family, will always have those emotional ones," Marquez said.

CFD demonstrated just how quickly a simple sparkler can become dangerous.

With firefighters on-hand, there was a simulation of what would happen if a sparkler caught a child's clothes on fire.

It's all part of an effort to show the public the potentially deadly and lasting impact fireworks can have on families.

Fire officials said every year thousands of children are injured by fireworks, firecrackers and sparklers.

"The injuries we see every year range from minor burns to catastrophic and life changing injuries. That includes loss of fingers, damage to eyes, and even fatalities," said Commanding Fire Marshal Ryan Rivera.

Every year, over 3,000 children under 15 end up in emergency rooms because of fireworks.

Others affected are pets and those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, including combat veterans.

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Fireworks are banned statewide in Illinois, and sparklers and bottle rockets are additionally banned in the city of Chicago.