No changes to fireworks ordinanceThe only change to the rules involving fireworks in North Dakota this year won’t take effect until after the Fourth of July. “We’ve had no changes to the local ordinance and the only change to the state law is the bottle rocket law that goes into effect Aug. 1,” said Dave Donegan, Jamestown chief of police.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The only change to the rules involving fireworks in North Dakota this year won’t take effect until after the Fourth of July.
“We’ve had no changes to the local ordinance and the only change to the state law is the bottle rocket law that goes into effect Aug. 1,” said Dave Donegan, Jamestown chief of police.
Lawmakers in the last legislative session voted to ban bottle rockets. The bill did not include an emergency provision so it will go into effect at the same time all new laws do, Aug. 1. The law bans not only the sale but the firing of bottle rockets after that date.
The Jamestown ordinance allows the retail sale of fireworks from June 27 to July 5 each year. Fireworks may be discharged during that same period from 9 a.m. to midnight each day with the exception of the night of the Fourth of July when discharges are allowed until 1 a.m.
The records at the Jamestown Fire Department indicate one grass fire attributed to fireworks during each of the last two years.
However, in 2006 four grass fires and one Dumpster fire, where someone set off fireworks in a garbage Dumpster, were attributed to fireworks.
“I really don’t have a problem with the fireworks,” said Jim Reuther, Jamestown fire chief. “It’s the stupidity that comes with it sometimes that is a problem.”
Reuther said simply following the Jamestown fireworks ordinance will help all enjoy the Fourth of July.
The ordinance prohibits discharging fireworks at any person, animal, building or vehicle, discharging fireworks in any manner that is likely to endanger or injure any person or property and discharging fireworks within 300 feet of where flammable gasses or fireworks are stored.
Along with the fire danger fireworks causes problems for other agencies.
Records at the James-town Police Department indicated officers responded to 59 calls regarding fireworks during 2008.
“It is a short-term event although a lot of people get pretty irritated,” Donegan said. “The two major things we get complaints on are late night use and the manner of use.”
Donegan describes the manner of use complaints as things like carelessness or firing bottle rockets at people or animals. Those types of activities sometimes lead to injuries although they usually aren’t severe.
“We get some (injuries) every year,” said Sheila Krapp, registered nurse and manager of the Jamestown Hospital Emergency Room. “We see a lot of burns that are related to firecrackers or sparklers.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at email@example.com