Published DateThose planning to light up the sky on July Fourth would be well advised to do some research first, because fireworks regulations can vary from town to town.
Here is a look at some local town ordinances:
Use of commercial grade fireworks is prohibited in the town of Conway.
A first offense could be a violation, and a subsequent offense is a misdemeanor, said Lt. Chris Perley, adding that although police can issue a warning for a first offense they don't have to.
"The potential is there to get a violation as soon as we see it," said Perley
Shooting off fireworks can be a dangerous endeavor, said Perley. Fireworks injured 13 people in Pelham last summer. Fireworks were also used in the bombing in Boston.
"They are not toys," said Perley.
Anyone wishing to see some great fireworks can enjoy the town's display at Schouler Park, said Perley.
Fireworks have been legal in Maine since the state law changed in January of 2012. However, the law gave towns discretion to prohibit or restrict fireworks. Fryeburg banned fireworks on town property, and so far so good, said police chief Phil Weymouth.
"We didn't get too many complaints in the past year," said Weymouth adding none of the complaints were worthy of a ticket.
Landowners along the Saco River have stated they will not be granting permission for fireworks, said Weymouth.
Fireworks are legal from June 31 to July 8 and New Year's Eve until 2 a.m. Fireworks are also permitted "24 hours following the final out when the Red Sox win the World Series."
There are some caveats. Fireworks must be used safely and in sparsely populated areas. Fireworks are banned after 10 p.m. Violators of the ordinance can be fined up to $250 plus restitution.
Bartlett goes by state laws in terms of fireworks, said Fire Chief Pat Roberts. Roberts reminds people that they need written landowner permission before fireworks can be used. He also suggests checking with your homeowner's insurance policy before lighting them off.
According to police chief Dan Poirier, the town of Tamworth has regulations that pertain to selling fireworks. There is a fireworks store in Tamworth. In terms of setting them off, Tamworth relies on state laws. Poirier reminds people to use "common sense and courtesy. " Fireworks should not be allowed to stray onto other people's property. He added anyone setting them off at 4 a.m. would probably get a visit from an officer who will say "knock it off."
Anyone purchasing or possessing "permissible" fireworks, which are those made legal for sale, possession or use in New Hampshire, must be at least 21 years old. Fireworks may be shot on your own property or with written landowner permission. Types of permissible fireworks include: cylindrical fountains, cone fountains, wheels, ground spinners, helicopters, roman candles, mines, cakes, shells, reloadable mortars, parachutes, sparklers, morning glories, and novelties. One can be held civilly liable for damage to another person's property.
The untethered release of sky lanterns is a violation of the New Hampshire State Fire Code. The New Hampshire Fire Marshal's Office describes sky lanterns as small hot-air balloons. The State of New Hampshire permits the use of sky lanterns if they are tethered.
Conway's emergency management director Steven Solomon said sky lanterns are sometimes released at weddings. Fallen sky lanterns have been known to cause fires, Solomon said.
The New Hampshire Fire Marshal's Office keeps a list of fireworks regulations by towns. The list was updated last year. It's based on a survey of towns. Many towns didn't to respond to the survey. The survey results can be found at: www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/firesafety/fireworks/documents/Master-PermissibleFireworksCommunityRestrictionList-July22012.pdf