Know the law and be safe in regards to fireworks

The National Safety Council reports that in 2016 four people died in the United States from fireworks. 

Another 11,100 people were badly injured enough to require medical treatment from fireworks-related incidents. 

With Fourth of July festivities heating up in the area, Crawfordsville Fire Department fire inspector Brian Bechtel wants to remind residents to play it safe and stay within the law when it comes to discharging fireworks.

“Fireworks laws have changed considerably in Indiana” Bechtel said. “The laws have gotten less restrictive. Residents need to understand what their local ordinances say about fireworks or if they just follow Indiana state law.”

Hoosiers can use personal fireworks 365 days per year. According to state law, fireworks may be discharged between

9 a.m. and 11 p.m. on most days other than holidays. 

On holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and New Year’s Eve) they can be discharged until midnight. 

On June 29-30, July 1-3 and 5-9, fireworks can be discharged until two hours past sunset.

State law says personal fireworks may be discharged on the user’s property, the property of someone who has granted permission, or at locally-approved special discharge locations. 

Those setting off fireworks are still responsible for any property damaged by their fireworks even if they were discharged from a legal location. 

Keep that in mind when using bottle rockets, roman candles, or any other aerial fireworks.

Local communities have the option to make ordinances that are more restrictive, but not less restrictive than the state law.

By Indiana statute, those found guilty of violating fireworks laws are subject to monetary fines and possible jail time.

Montgomery County communities, including Crawfordsville, do not have fireworks ordinances, meaning their residents must adhere to Indiana law.

Bechtel reminded residents in a press release that “even in the hands of professionals the use of fireworks can be dangerous and risky.”

“A simple solution to reducing fireworks injuries is to appreciate the danger involved, remove any potential risk to children and spectators and the best solution is leaving the fireworks to the professionals and enjoy the show,” Bechtel stated.