Register Staff Report
MADISON COUNTY —
The Madison County Emergency Management Agency is encouraging county residents to enjoy fireworks safely during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.
The agency recommends attending sanctioned fireworks shows because the professionals hosting them adhere to state and local safety codes.
“Fireworks are not toys,” the EMA stated in a news release. “They are devices designed to reach high temperatures, to burn and spark, and to explode and launch. They are unpredictable by nature and too dangerous for nonprofessional users.”
Under a new state law, flying fireworks, such as bottle rockets and roman candles, are now legal to purchase with local approval. Richmond and Berea have already passed ordinances allowing local firework retailers to open within city limits. Seasonal permits may also be purchased in B-4 zones.
Both cities’ ordinances require that fireworks only be set off before 10 a.m. However, on December 31, Memorial Day and July 3-4, fireworks may be set off until midnight.
Under state law, fireworks must be set off more than 200 feet from any building, vehicle or other person.
According to a 22-year study by Gary Smith, Director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Columbus Children’s Research institute in Ohio, the average age of patients treated for firework-related injuries was 8-years-old. Adult supervision was present in 54 percent of all cases, and eyes were injured in one-third of all cases.