PARMA, Ohio — There’s no doubt that July 4th may look a little different this year. With a limited amount of public displays, TJ Martin with the Parma Fire Department says safety is top of mind – especially with more people spending time at home.
"They’ve started earlier, and they’re probably going to carry on longer. Our police department along with us have seen additional amount of complaints. We’ve heard complaints that it sounds like a warzone outside," Martin says.
Parma isn’t the only area hearing more complaints. The city of Akron reports the number of complaints to 311 and the mayor’s office have “increased significantly." They say recently the city has seen on average about a dozen calls and emails per week.
Between late May and June, fireworks-related calls to Akron police stood at 231, about seven times the number from the same period the year before.
The city of Cleveland put out a note on Friday reminding residents about the dangers of both fireworks and celebratory gunfire. Like Akron, Cleveland says it has seen a growing number of fireworks-related disturbance calls in the past year.
Fireworks are still illegal in the state of Ohio, but that hasn’t stopped people from setting off their own displays.
"We know we’re not going to be able to curb that. There’s just too much of an abundance of fireworks sales and fireworks sales sold in the state. So all we want people to do is to please be safe," Martin adds.
Martin says fireworks of all shapes and sizes can cause serious harm ranging from burns, to hearing injuries, to injuries to the face and hands. He advises to keep a bucket of water close and a fire extinguisher nearby, while keeping your distance. And keep your kids away.
There are still some public fireworks displays that are still scheduled this weekend. You can find the full list below.