If you spent another Fourth of July wondering about the legality of the fireworks your neighbors set off all night, settle the matter for good with a review of Kentucky’s firework laws. Kentucky does not have a statewide ban on fireworks. It does, however, have a few safety regulations for people who want to partake during the holiday. In addition, municipalities have passed city-specific firework laws that may be more stringent. Lexington is one of those cities.
If you’ve reach out site because you were recently injured in a firework accident, contact our office today to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation.
It is legal for vendors to sell any fireworks that meet the definitions listed in KRS 227.702 in the state of Kentucky. These are consumer fireworks that can come in a wide variety. Manufacturers design consumer fireworks for use by the public. They must comply with regulations according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). To lawfully purchase and use one of these fireworks in Kentucky, you must obey a few basic laws.
• You must be 18 or older
• You cannot ignite fireworks within 200 feet of any home, vehicle, structure or another person
• You cannot use the fireworks in a way that violates local ordinances
Municipal laws trump state laws in Kentucky. If your city has more stringent rules against certain types of fireworks or time limits for setting them off, for example, you must obey your city’s mandates. Purchasing or using fireworks in violation of state or municipal law could result in fines, infractions and even jail time in Kentucky.
Fayette County has a stricter firework statute than Kentucky state law. Fayette County bans all fireworks that do not stay on the ground or in the hand while in use. If it shoots into the air or explodes, it is illegal to have in Fayette County. Municipal law only permits sparklers, fountains, snaps, smoke balls, ground spinners, pops, snakes and other ground or handheld fireworks. It is against the law to use Roman candles, helicopter fireworks, mortar fireworks, rockets, sky flyers and similar fireworks.
According to WTVQ News, many people last Independence Day were evidently unaware of Lexington’s ban on most fireworks. The Lexington Police responded to 186 firework-related calls in a single week. Many of these calls were in regards to prohibited fireworks such as firecrackers and bottle rockets. In Fayette County, the only people who may lawfully use these fireworks are professionals with proper permits. Local police gave out dozens of citations on and around the Fourth for people violating the county’s firework ordinances.
The Lexington Police also reminded citizens that state and municipal firework laws are in place for everyone’s safety. Injury rates around Independence Day spike due to dangerous and illegal firework use. Over 180 people end up in the emergency room per day in the month surrounding the Fourth of July, according to the CPSC. All types of fireworks can cause serious injuries. Even sparklers – which burn at temperatures hot enough to melt metal – can cause severe burns.
• First- to third-degree burns (44%)
• Hand and finger injuries, including traumatic amputations (28%)
• Leg injuries (24%)
• Eye injuries (19%)
• Face, ear and head injuries (15%)
• Trunk injuries (10%)
• Arm injuries (4%)
The most common type of firework injury is a thermal burn from contact with flames, sparks or another heat source. Children are especially prone to burn injuries due to lack of safety awareness. Many parents underestimate the dangers of fireworks; some sellers even market handheld and consumer fireworks as safe for kids. Adults should always be in charge of firework activities. Keep a bucket of water and a fire extinguisher handy in case of mishaps. Only use fireworks within the confines of state and local laws in Kentucky.
If you were injured by fireworks either over this fourth of July celebration or throughout any other time of year, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. To schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation, contact our office today.