OTTAWA LAKE, Mich — Barbecues, beautiful weather and of course, fireworks are on the horizon as the countdown to the Fourth of July is on.

At Uncle Louie's Fireworks, the shelves are stocked as employees like manager Lee Strahan gear up to be bombarded with customers in the next week-and-a-half.

"You can get anything that is consumer legal here," Strahan said.

That includes anything from some innocent sparklers, to a slightly bigger light-show-in-a-box.

"The most expensive item, of course, is gonna be the TNT Big Bang," Strahan said. "It's an aerial assortment. It's $800. It is a beautiful show in a box. Everybody that gets it is absolutely thrilled."


But back in Ohio, local fire officials have a warning if you're considering setting off those fireworks yourself.

"Don't use them," said Pvt. Sterling Rahe with Toledo Fire and Rescue.

Rahe said it may be enticing, but it's against the law to fire them off in the Buckeye State.

"We know that they're out there," he said. "We know people are going to use them but we also want to let them know it is illegal to use them."

If you decide to take your chances, common sense is safety tip number one.

"Make sure that kids are not around the actual fireworks themselves," Rahe said. "Don't let them light them. Don't let them do those things."

"You always want to have a bucket of water or something that in the event that a box does catch on fire," Strahan added. "You should always wear eye protection, safety glasses."

4th of July fireworks

Both parties agreed if you plan on buying fireworks this year, get them from a reputable dealer. 

"You don't want to get illegal fireworks, homemade fireworks, something bigger than what is consumer legal," Strahan said. "The reason we have these laws is for consumer safety."