With the fireworks season fast approaching, the public and retailers are being reminded of a new Fort Wayne Ordinance governing the use of fireworks and the state law that governs the sale of fireworks.
The state law, which was signed in March, 2006, helps fund public safety programs in Indiana, such as training for firefighters. The collection of a 5-percent safety fee on the sale of all fireworks began June 1, 2006. A portion of the funds are used for the State Disaster Relief Fund, which helps cover the costs of the State’s response to emergencies or disasters. The law also includes requirements regarding where the public can set off fireworks, as well as requirements for structures where fireworks are sold.
The new Fort Wayne City Ordinance was signed in June, 2007. The public needs to be aware of restrictions that are in place regarding the use of fireworks, as well as the possible penalties for violators.
Some of the provisions in the new Fort Wayne City Ordinance include:
• Fireworks may be used only on the user’s property, on the property of someone who has consented to the use of fireworks, or at a special discharge location. (Note: A special discharge location is a place designated by the State Fire Marshal for the discharge of consumer fireworks).
• Fireworks can be purchased only by adults 18 years of age or older. Children under 18 may only use fireworks when an adult is present.
• Fireworks may be used only between 5:00 p.m. two hours after dusk (approximately 11:00 p.m.) from June 29-July 3 and again from July 5-9. On the day before Memorial Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, the day before Labor Day and Labor Day, the hours are extended from 10 a.m. until midnight. For New Year’s Eve, fireworks may be used from 10:00 a.m. Dec. 31 until 1:00 a.m., Jan. 1.
• Penalties for violating the fireworks law can range from a Class A misdemeanor up to a Class C felony in the case of the reckless or intentional use of fireworks that results in a person’s death.
The state law also includes requirements for fireworks retailers:
• Locations where fireworks are sold must be registered with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security Division of Fire and Building Safety. (IDHS). The locations must also comply with safety requirements specified in the law for various types of structures.
• Each fireworks retail sales location will be inspected by the IDHS and/or the Code Enforcement Division of the Fort Wayne Fire Department.
For more information contact: Jim Murua
District Chief/Fire Marshal