Monday, June 30, 2008
The Pittsburgh Fireworks Task Force hopes to make this Independence Day quieter. Officers from the bureaus of police, fire, and building inspectors will patrol neighborhoods in pairs from June 27 through July 4 looking for the airborne flash and bang of illegal fireworks. Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones says illegal fireworks consist of any projectile firework or any firework that explodes. Last year the task force made 19 citations, 4 physical arrests and issued over $15,000 in fines. Director of Public Safety Michael Huss stresses that the objective of the task force is not to spoil holiday fun, but to protect people. More fires are reported on Independence Day than on any other single day of the year and over half of those fires are the result of fireworks. People are encouraged to call 911 with tips if they witness someone using illegal fireworks. Officials also urge citizens to view public firework displays rather risk safety by using illegal fireworks.