Grand Rapids residents are fired up about the excessive use of fireworks

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Fireworks are colorful blasts that light up the night sky.

And while they are a popular tradition on the 4th of July, not everyone is a fan because some are lighting them off late into the night, and leaving trash all over the place.

“It’s just all over,” says Marie Cimochowicz, a Grand Rapids resident. “There are boxes from it all over the place. The wrappers and all the exploded little pieces of junk.”

But a lot of neighbors in Grand Rapids say people are not sticking to that schedule and just being rude, lighting them off at all hours of the night.

According to the Michigan fireworks safety act, which went into effect in 2012, fireworks can be used the day before, day of and the day after a holiday.

More than 27, 000 people have signed a petition calling for a repeal to the law, which many argue increases the risk of injuries each year.

“I was driving down the road and they were lighting off fireworks right in the middle of the street where cars were driving,” says Thomas Schwander, upset of excessive use of fireworks. “And they had to move their kids out of the way so I could drive over their fireworks.”

But whether or not there is a change to the law, residents are hoping there’s at least a change in common sense manners going forward.

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  • steve

    It’s July fifth, 11:00 at night and there are still jerks touching off fireworks for the fifth night . Don’t misunderstand. We used to set off lots of fireworks many years ago, but we also knew when it was time to quit at night as a courtesy to others. If kids back then were polite enough to stop at a decent time, why can’t adults do that today? They need to change the laws to perhaps allow fireworks on the day the holiday falls and no more. I also realize that enforcement would be next to impossible. But if violators were caught, make the fines so stiff that their two brain cells will remind them when the next holiday rolls around.

  • Old Bob

    If the Grand Rapids Police Department would take firework violation seriously and enforce the law it would go a long ways towards improving the situation.

    • Andy

      If the police are going to fireworks calls , then they will not be able to get to other calls in a timely manner such as the domestic violence, shootings, and robberies. I have been listening to Chicago police radio the last few days, where crime is every night. The average response time to other crimes was 25 mins, fireworks calls were coming in almost continusly. Myself, I just turn up the TV a bit and fan on, close the windows. I am not a fan of late night fireworks and do not use them. However I would rather have the police going to crime calls instead trying to find kids that are shooting off bottle rockets. Usually, listening to Chicago, the perpetrators were nowhere to be found when the police got there.

  • Chris

    Most gun owners are safe, most fireworks owners are safe. Don’t let a few derelicts give up freedom for a little bit of fear.

    • steve

      The issue isn’t safety. It’s courtesy for people trying to get some sleep before going to work or, in some cases, calming their pets. It’s called consideration for others. Simple as that.

  • Bill

    I read this article and rolled my eyes. I then proceeded to read the comments and again rolled my eyes. I think I pulled a muscle.

    In all seriousness, loosen up people. It is a celebration. You are losing a couple hours of sleep a year because people are celebrating how great our country is. Get over it. We all had to get up on Wednesday and Thursday for work after listening to fireworks most of the night. Count yourself lucky.

    • steve

      It’s just after 12:05am Friday and they’re still going off near Kalamazoo and 28th Street. Sorry, Bill, but celebrations of the Fourth of July don’t don’t belong on the seventh.

  • Tarita

    My family and I do a huge production for the 4th of July. Right in tge middle of the street. It is quite the clean up too, but we try to clean up everything to the best of our ability with blowers, push brooms and such. I understand that the constant sound of fireworks can be annoying because long after we have supplied our neighborhood with a 3 plus hour firework display people are still sounding off in neighboring streets. I am not ofdended ir annoyed and I oftentimes have to work in the morning too. I figure it is a celebration SOME folks only get this day of summer to celebrate and it will be over before we know it and folks will find something else to be angry about.