CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - It's fireworks season and you probably plan to watch them this weekend wherever you live, but in Illinois, it's the law that you have to leave fireworks to the professionals.
According to Sargent Amber Ronketto with the Carbondale Illinois police, officers will be out in full force on Fourth of July weekend.
"So our goal is to keep people safe and to not have those kind of injuries," Ronketto said.
Patrols over the holiday weekend will be stepped up to the next level according to Ronketto.
"In Illinois alone there were 181 people that went to the hospital, a hospital, for treatment, based on fireworks injuries," she said.
Fireworks are illegal in Illinois, things like "party poppers" "booby traps" and "sparklers" are okay, but Ronketto warns that legal doesn't mean safe.
Many people cross state lines to buy fireworks, but if you are caught bringing them into Illinois, the fine can be a steep one.
Tim Schweizer with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources explained the rules.
"Illinois Explosives Act requires that anyone that buy, posseses, uses, transfers, stores or disposes of any explosives including display fireworks have to be licensed by the DNR," he said.
Ronketto said they'll give out ordinance violation tickets resulting in fines from $50 all the way up to $750.
"Those kind of explosves can be very dangerous. Is it worth hurting somebody and possibly maming them or setting your house on fire just for a little but of fun?" Ronketto said. "Our best reminder and our best suggestion to anyone interested in fireworks – go to a fireworks show that's put on by professionals. Professionals that have the proper state license and state certificate for the handling and storage of explosives."
If you want to play it safe and are curious about places around to watch fireworks across the Heartland, click this link to heartlandweekend.com.