Record-breaking firework sales raise safety concerns

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — On a typical Fourth of July, nearly 200,000 people head to the Peoria riverfront to watch the Red, White, and Boom fireworks show.

This year, the show has been postponed and fireworks won’t light up the night sky.

That isn’t stopping people from enjoying the holiday.

“People love to celebrate Independence Day,” said Amy Dotson, public information officer for the Peoria Police Department.

The American Pyrotechnics Association reports a lack of fireworks shows means more people are buying their own.

“It was really busy yesterday and it’s gonna keep getting busier and busier. We’ll have people wrapped all the way around this stand,” said Cristina Slater, owner of C-n-C Fireworks in Mapleton.

The APA says so far this year, it’s seen record breaking firework sales.

“We’ve sold out of some of our items already, and it’s not even close to the fourth yet,” said Slater.

Fireworks are bright, loud, and fun, but experts say they can be dangerous too.

“If you’re not trained and licensed to use those, you don’t know the power behind them. And they can go off, and you can lose fingers and stuff like that,” said Stan Taylor, Division Chief of Fire Prevention for the Peoria Fire Department.

The National Fire Protection Association says nearly 20,000 fires every year are caused by fireworks.

“The goal is just to keep people safe. People and their property,” said Dotson.

The City of Peoria uses State Fire Marshal guidelines to restrict the types of fireworks you can use.

“The illegal fireworks have more bang in them, more powder to make them do things, and that extra powder in there – it’s an explosion. It’s an explosive,” said Taylor.

Sparklers are on the approved list. but they’re hot. They burn at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hotter than wood and glass.

“Make sure you’re always supervising your children,” said Taylor.

Peorians can save money by safely celebrating the Fourth of July.

“The city ordinance for the illegal use of fireworks is $250,” said Dotson.

The 2020 Red, White, and Boom show has not been rescheduled. Organizers say if the firework show can’t happen this year, 2021 will be bigger and better.

Approved fireworks in Peoria:

  • Cones including showers of sparks, fountains, and repeaters (cakes)
  • Mines, comets, tubes, shells, fancy florals, and parachutes
  • Sparklers

Illegal fireworks in Peoria:

  • Hand held fireworks
  • Bottle rockets
  • Firecrackers of any size or type
  • Sky rockets
  • Roman candles
  • Chasers
  • Buzz bombs
  • Helicopters
  • Missiles
  • Planes
  • Sky lanterns
  • Pin wheels
  • Ground items other than those identified as approved consumer fireworks

Unregulated novelty fireworks:

  • Snake or glow worm pellets
  • Smoke devices
  • Trick noisemakers
  • Sparklers
  • Toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns

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