When and what kind of fireworks can you shoot under city ordinances?

Published 10:39 am Monday, June 30, 2014

When shooting fireworks this weekend, be mindful that they can be dangerous.

When shooting fireworks this weekend, be mindful that they can be dangerous.

The Demopolis Police Department doesn’t want fireworks to ruin your Fourth of July weekend.

In the Demopolis city limits, it’s legal to shoot common class C fireworks as designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. from June 20 to July 10. Fireworks should not be shot during the hours of 11 p.m. and 8 a.m.

The city ordinance states that anyone caught violating this article shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, can be punished by a fine between $100 and $500 or imprisoned for no less than 30 days, or both, by discretion of the court.

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Other provisions in the article state that no one can sell fireworks unless they have a permit from the state fire marshal and a business license or permit from the city. It also states that fireworks can only be sold during the specified dates from 8 a.m. to midnight.

Reese offers the following tips for citizens planning to use fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday:

•Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.

•Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.

•Fireworks should only be used outdoors.

•Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks.

•Know your fireworks. Read the caution label before igniting.

•Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.

•Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.

•Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.

•Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

•Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.

•Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives: They can kill you!

•Don’t hesitate in calling the fire department if a fire gets started.

•Always remain standing while using sparklers.

•Never hold a child in your arms while using sparklers.

•Never hold, or light, more than one sparkler at a time.

•Never throw sparklers.

•Sparkler wire and stick remain hot long after the flame has gone out. Be sure to drop spent sparklers in a bucket of water.

•Teach children not to wave sparklers, or run, while holding sparklers.

Reese also asked for citizens to be considerate of others when shooting fireworks in the nighttime hours.

The Demopolis Fire Department and Chief Tommy Tate, along with the state fire marshal’s office, also offered the following fireworks safety tips for the holiday:

•Always have first aid nearby in case of a burn and run cool water over a burn for 5 to 10 minutes.  If burned skin is blistered or changes color, seek emergency medical care.

•If your clothes happen to catch on fire, remember to stop, drop and roll to extinguish the flames.

•Keep your emergency numbers near the telephone.

•It’s unlawful to throw fireworks from moving vehicles and to throw or point fireworks at another person, object or animal.

•Never attempt to alter or combine fireworks.

•No lighted cigars, cigarettes or pipes within 10 feet of where fireworks are stored or sold.

•No exploding or igniting of fireworks within 600 feet of any enclosed building.

•No outdoor burning within 50 feet of where fireworks are stored or sold.

•Before lighting fireworks, they should be firmly supported in a bucket filled half way with sand or in the ground for stability. Grass will not support items nor provide the stability needed to shoot fireworks in a safe manner.

•Never carry fireworks in your pocket.

•Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.

•Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.

•Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting the fuse.

•Light fireworks away from dry grass, flammables and combustible items.

•Keep fireworks away from open flames, heat or spark producing appliances.

•Wet down the area where you intend to shoot your fireworks.

•Always call the fire department for any fire, even if the fire has been completely extinguished.