Fireworks have likely already been going off in your neighborhood but did you know there are a few guidelines set by the state for using fireworks?
According to Indiana Code 22-11-14-6, you can discharge fireworks on your property until 11 p.m. each day.
“On legal holidays, which by state statute includes Sunday, you may discharge fireworks until midnight,” said Washington Assistant Chief of Police Trent McWilliams, who said fireworks can only be discharged on your property, on property you have permission to use or at a special location authorized by fire department that has jurisdiction over the area. “If you’re under 18, you must also have an adult present to possess or use fireworks.”
So what happens if you are in violation of the code? McWilliams said it is a punishable Class C infraction. Damaging another person’s property with the colorful explosives is a Class A misdemeanor. Causing serious injury to another person with fireworks is a Level 6 felony and under Indiana Code 35-45-3-2, a person who places or leaves spent fireworks on the property of another person is committing littering, a Class B infraction.
“We ask that everyone be courteous and respectful to their neighbors while celebrating and discharging fireworks,” said McWilliams, adding children should never be left unattended with fireworks.
Washington Fire Chief Steve Walden echoed McWilliams in that children should never be left alone with the fireworks.
“Never let children handle, play with or light any fireworks,” said Walden. “I would also highly recommend using clear safety glasses while lighting fireworks and do not try to throw any type of fireworks.”
Walden also recommends lighting only one firework at a time, having a fire extinguisher nearby and never trying to relight a dud.
Also, be considerate of animals and individuals who have more sensitive ears or who have heightened sensitivity to noise. Noise canceling headphones might be helpful for a friend or family member who struggles with the loud noises made by fireworks, and sometimes a pet’s veterinarian can either prescribe or recommend treatment to relieve a pet’s anxiety over the holiday weekend.