MARQUETTE, Mich (WJMN) – Fireworks are a fun and festive way to celebrate the Fourth of July. Anna Dravland who survived a stroke and brain injuries in 2017 says they can threaten the health of some, especially people with PTSD, other mental health issues or brain injuries.
Dravland is sensitive to light and sound making it so she can’t go to crowded places and even has difficulty sometimes at family events. Fireworks can cause migraines and create other issues for her that damage her health.
“There’s multiple stress triggers related to it, it’s absolutely vital to me maintaining my strength and my health to avoid as many stress triggers as possible,” said Dravlenad. “So we design a life around it so that I can avoid the hospital and avoid hospitalizations.”
Dravland says that she volunteered on the Fourth of July committee for 4 years and loves the holiday. She likes the organized firework displays because it allows her to plan ahead and avoid being impacted by the fireworks.
“The organized shows, I understand the enjoyment of them and they’re planned,” said Dravland. “There’s you know 30 minutes of one day that I know fireworks are going to be going off so I can really hunker down or I can go to a different city that does not have a scheduled show that night and stay with a friend.”
Without the organized displays, Dravland feels community members are ramping up their own use of fireworks to make up for the lost events. She says that for her and others in similar positions there is no escape from the situation. Dravland hopes people will be considerate of where they are shooting off fireworks and encourages them to use fireworks outside of residential areas.
Residents of Marquette are permitted to set off fireworks between 11:00 AM and 11:45 PM until July 4. Fireworks may only be used on your own property and not set off in beaches or parks. Additionally, consuming alcohol and lighting fireworks is dangerous and prohibited. Failing to observe these rules could result in a $1,000 fine.