ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Only one week away from the Fourth of July, Rockford officials say tougher penalties could be in store for those who use fireworks illegally.
A new ordinance toughens the penalties for illegal use of fireworks within city limits. Those who are caught setting off fireworks illegally could face citations and fines up to $750, according to city officials.
Last year, more than 9,000 people went to Illinois emergency rooms with injuries, and at least five people died from accidents involving fireworks.
Experts say it's not just the large explosions that are dangerous. Sparklers can reach up to 2,000 degrees and can burn through skin and tissue right down to the bone.
Most fireworks, including bottle rockets, firecrackers, sky rockets and roman candles are illegal in Illinois.