By Jasmine Seales
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter
On Monday, the city of Lansing and its residents celebrated the Fourth of July holiday, but some may wonder how residents were kept safe during the holiday madness.
One particularly new safety procedure, due to the weather conditions, put the Lansing fireworks display at risk of being postponed this year.
Due to the extremely dry weather conditions that have been experienced in the region, the city of Lansing issued burning bans that prevented open burning until the dry spell ceases.
Lansing Fire Chief Randy Talifarro said that because of the dry climate, things were originally not looking too good for Lansing fireworks. “If you look at the forecast, we don’t see rain until after the holiday, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the fireworks did not happen. It’s just too dry,” he said.
Though the ban was still active during the holiday, officials did allow the lighting of fireworks during the holiday weekend, though the Emergency Management Chief of Lansing, Michael Tobin, cautioned anyone lighting fireworks to be extra cautious.
As well as the burning bans, Lansing officials established other rules that kept residents safe during the holiday weekend.
A Lansing ordinance says that the city of Lansing only allowed the discharge of fireworks on the day before, the day of, and the day after a national holiday, between 8 a.m. and 12 midnight on those days. Residents can be charged a $500 fine for discharging fireworks at any other times.
Though the Lansing Police Department declined to give specifics about their precautions for holiday safety, they enforced laws diligently this past weekend, with cop cars and fire trucks strolling frequently through the streets during the holiday.
Officers also stressed the importance of residents reporting any illegal or dangerous explosives that they may have witnessed being burned in neighborhood areas, in order to help reduce the amount of potential injuries.
“My main focus is keeping my kids safe. If my neighbors decide to use dangerous explosives while my kids are outside trying to play, that worries me. The police play a role in keeping us safe, but its up to us to keep each other safe as a community as well”, said local resident Victoria Bond.
Lansing ordinances also prohibits the use of certain explosives on the holiday, due to the risk of serious injuries or fires.
Nearly half of the fires reported on Independence Day in the U.S. each year are started by fireworks, according to National Fire Protection Association statistics.
“People just need to be careful. Even things as minute as sparklers can cause serious injuries,” said Talifarro.