Cleveland police confiscate $1,000 in fireworks; Fire marshal warns of backyard fireworks dangers

CLEVELAND - Cleveland police and the Division of State Fire Marshal are warning residents about using dangerous and illegal fireworks.

Officers in Cleveland's second district confiscated about $1,000 in fireworks and issued seven citations on Saturday and Sunday. Cleveland police said shooting off fireworks is illegal and they will issue citations.

The Division of State Fire Marshal is urging people not to use backyard fireworks because of the potential dangers. Last year, 8,700 people were treated for firework-related injuries at emergency rooms across the country. Fireworks sparked 228 fires in Ohio in 2012.

According to the state fire marshal, consumer fireworks, like bottle rockets and roman candles, can be purchased by anyone over the age of 18, but they cannot be legally used in the state of Ohio. They must also be removed from the state is a certain amount of time.

"Every legally available backyard firework has been associated with serious injury and death," said Dr. Gary Smith, President of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance, in a news release with the fire marshal.

"Although some people mistakenly believe that backyard fireworks are safe if only adults handle them, our research shows that one-quarter of fireworks-related injuries to children occur to bystanders. These children were not using the fireworks themselves and yet they were still injured. This tells us that children are at risk of injury by simply being in the vicinity of backyard fireworks use."

Cleveland's fireworks display, presented by FirstEnergy, starts at 10 p.m. on Thursday near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. The Downtown Cleveland Alliance said the best spots to watch the show are Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, Shooters on the west bank of the Flats, Settlers Landings on the east bank, Whiskey Island, Wendy Park, Edgewater Park and Kirtland Park.

For a list of Fourth of July fireworks across northeast Ohio, click here http://bit.ly/11FEulA

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