Avoiding Fines on the Fourth of July

Make sure you know how to stay safe and abide by your cities rules

Fourth of July is just a couple of weeks away and that means it is time for fireworks.

But before you start planning your party there are some things you should know.

Riley Fire Chief Matt McCullough knows there are risks when it comes to working with fireworks

"The biggest thing is safety. The later it gets the more dangerous it is just because you are obviously not able to see as much. A lot more unknowns happen at night than during the day," said McCullough.

Indiana state law says fireworks can be shot off most days of the year anytime between 9 a.M. To 11 p.m. but for holidays like memorial day and the Fourth of July they extend the cut off to midnight.

But cities have the right to shorten the window for fireworks, so checking with your local fire department would be a great way to avoid a fine.

Shooting off fireworks after the cut off can result in a 500 dollar fine.

But for those of you in Illinois your firework safety codes are much different.

Kenny Dean used to help ignite  Terre Haute's fireworks and now owns several stores in Indiana that sell an assortment of fireworks.

He says about 30 percent of his customers are from Illinois.

"People from Illinois come to Indiana to buy fireworks because they are more restrictive in Illinois than what they are in Indiana. Indiana you can shoot any type of consumer fireworks that are available in the United States of America,"said Dean.

In Illinois most aerial fireworks are prohibited and if you get caught using them it could end up costing you thousands.

But regardless of whether you are in Illinois or Indiana one rule remains the same.

"No one under 18 should shoot fireworks Indiana and that is the law, and rightly so. And like they say, just be very safe and be in a wide open area," said Dean.

And it doesn't matter if you are shooting off show worthy fireworks or just playing with sparklers you still need to take the proper safety precautions.

"Adult supervision is key with kids and fireworks. Always have a hose line out with you. Garden hose line or a bucket of water. A lot of times after you shoot them off and they cool down don't just discard them in a trash can. Put them in a bucket of water first," said McCullough.

But the most common firework injuries can come from something as simple as not reading the directions.

"A lot of times it is just the misuses of fireworks. They need to be lit on the ground, and of course sometimes adults they like to hold them and shoot them off so that is where accidents happen," said McCullough.

When it comes to fireworks it is very important to know the power of what you are buying, how they should be used, and make sure you let them off during the allotted time.


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