Ordnance ordinanceToday is the first day fireworks can legally be sold or used in the city of Jamestown, but the Jamestown Police Department began receiving fireworks complaints early in the week. Police Lt. Robert Opp said the department receives reports of illegal fireworks throughout the year, but the calls really start coming in once fireworks are legal.
By: Jackie Hyra, The Jamestown Sun
Today is the first day fireworks can legally be sold or used in the city of Jamestown, but the Jamestown Police Department began receiving fireworks complaints early in the week.
Police Lt. Robert Opp said the department receives reports of illegal fireworks throughout the year, but the calls really start coming in once fireworks are legal.
“We get a lot of calls after midnight,’ he said.
City ordinance 1203 says fireworks can only be sold or used from today until July 5 and can only be used between 9 a.m. and midnight. The only exception is on July 4, when they can be set off from 9 a.m. on the fourth to 1 a.m. on the fifth — one additional hour.
“People just need to use their heads,” Opp said. “Use some common sense.”
Rules built into the city ordinance prohibit people from discharging fireworks in the direction of another person, animal, building, vehicle or from the interior of a vehicle or in any way that could endanger or injure another person or property.
Children under the age of 12 are not allowed to buy or use fireworks unless they are supervised by an adult who is close enough to the children to direct what they are doing.
Fireworks are not to be used within 300 feet of a fireworks stand or any place where more than 60 gallons of flammable liquids or gases are stored. The only exception is a residence that uses those substances for heating.
The North Dakota Department of Health reported 11 people died and around 9,200 were treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries in the United States in 2006. A third of those injured were children younger than 15.
“Children should never play with or ignite fireworks and should always be supervised around others involved in fireworks displays,” said Diana Read of the Injury Prevention Program. “The safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries is to leave the work to trained professionals. If you do choose to set off fireworks, it is important to do so safely.”
The Department of Health offered the following safety tips:
* Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
* Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
* Light fireworks only on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves and flammable materials.
* Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned.
* Keep a bucket of water handy in case of a malfunction or fire.
Violating the city fireworks ordinance is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of 30 days in prison and a $1,000 fine. Police can also seize the fireworks for any violation of the ordinance.
Sun reporter Jackie Hyra can be reached at (701) 952-8455 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org