Fire, police officials warn against illegal fireworks

July 2, 2011

(Flickr/Terry Miller)

Chicago's new police superintendent says officers will be out in full force this holiday weekend. Gary McCarthy says his officers will be on the lookout for people who are shooting off fireworks in the city, which is illegal.

Meantime, Chicago Fire Commissioner Bob Hoff said firefighters get calls every year related to fires started by residents who are shooting off their own fireworks.

"They end up going up in the air. They end up in someone's gutter line and we end up having several fires due to fireworks," Hoff said. "So we're asking people to be responsible. There are shows at Navy Pier. There are shows throughout the Chicago area, so that's where we should take our children and families to see the fireworks. Don't do them in your own backyard."

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates 8,600 people went to the emergency room last year because of fireworks-related injuries.