Archive for Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Are fireworks legal in Lawrence and Douglas County? Learn the rules before Fourth of July weekend

Get tips on fireworks and alcohol safety, too

Rod Karlin, left, of Lawrence, and Al Cappel, of Leavenworth, hang lights in preparation for the opening of the Midwest Fireworks stand at 31st Street and Kasold Drive in this June 2010 file photo.

Rod Karlin, left, of Lawrence, and Al Cappel, of Leavenworth, hang lights in preparation for the opening of the Midwest Fireworks stand at 31st Street and Kasold Drive in this June 2010 file photo.

June 29, 2011


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Past Event
Fourth of July Festival and Fireworks

  • When: Monday, July 4, 2011, 2 p.m.
  • Where: Watson Park, Seventh and Tennessee streets, Lawrence
  • More on this event....
Past Event
Fourth of July in Eudora

  • When: Monday, July 4, 2011, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Eudora Middle School, 2635 Church St., Eudora, KS
  • More on this event....
Past Event
Fourth of July in De Soto

Past Event
Fourth of July in Ottawa

Past Event
Fourth of July in McLouth

  • When: Monday, July 4, 2011, 9:30 p.m.
  • Where: Stan Braksick Sports Complex, Bulldog Boulevard
  • More on this event....

Fireworks will go on sale Friday, kicking off the annual four-day window when they are legal in Douglas County outside Lawrence.

The city does not allow the sale or use of fireworks at any time, but they are allowed in some nearby towns and unincorporated areas of the county in the days leading up to the Fourth of July.

Only novelty items such as sparklers, toy caps and party poppers are allowed in Lawrence. Larger items cause a handful of complaints each year, police said.

The maximum penalty for violating the city's fire code is a fine of up to $200. But usually, according to Fire Marshal James King, fire investigators and police officers simply educate offenders about the rules and confiscate the prohibited items.

People can buy and shoot off fireworks in rural parts of Douglas County from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 1 through 3 from 7 a.m. to midnight July 4. This year, 13 vendors will sell fireworks at 19 locations throughout the county.

Shooting areas cannot be on public roads or in public parks and must be a safe distance from buildings, on private property with the permission of the owner. Violating the county's fireworks rules is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of as much as $500 and up to a month in jail.

Bottle rockets and homemade fireworks are not allowed anywhere in Kansas.

Fireworks are allowed in Eudora during the same times, plus from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 1. In Baldwin City, they are permitted from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 1 and 2 and 8 a.m. to midnight July 3 and 4.

Fireworks safety tips:

  • Only buy high-quality fireworks from a licensed source and follow the instructions.
  • Don't carry fireworks in a clothes pocket. Store them in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
  • Don't give fireworks to small children. Older children should be supervised by adults.
  • Place the fireworks on a non-combustible pad a safe distance away from buildings and cars.
  • Have a water source or fire extinguisher available.
  • Have a “designated shooter.” Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
  • Wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
  • Don't light fireworks inside metal, glass or plastic containers.
  • Light only one firework at a time. Don't try to reignite one that malfunctions.
  • Clean up fireworks and debris and put used casings in a bucket of water before throwing them away the next day.

Alcohol safety tips:

Members of the New Tradition Coalition of Lawrence, which targets underage drinking, say these tips are important if you’re hosting a party:

  • Know who at the party is not 21 and make sure they do not have access to alcohol.
  • Serve plenty of non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Serve enough food because consumption of food will help absorb alcohol.
  • Line up designated drivers or make sleeping accommodations for guests who are drinking.


Ewok79 6 years, 10 months ago

What do you mean, "Alcohol & fireworks don't mix"??? That's when they're the most fun. It aint' the 4th of July untill yopu have 2nd degree burn on your hand. LOL

1029 6 years, 10 months ago

wow, didnt know homemade fireworks were illegal in all of kansas. i just finished up this 8-foot tall rocket that i was going to set off in veterans park, but now i might have to set it off in raytown or something. neighbors are gonna be upset to miss this one. one guy joked that the amount of explosive stuff we filled this thing with would wipe out the whole university place neighborhood if it doesnt get enough air before it explodes. lol.

Tammy Copp-Barta 6 years, 10 months ago

They've been shooting them off in our neighborhood all week up until midnight. Even found bottle rocket sticks in our driveway this morning. Really ticks me off - our family plays by the rules (which I think are absurd) - but others don't. But of course who would get caught if they did it illegally .. US!

kernal 6 years, 10 months ago

Get them on camera, then call the cops.

Randall Barnes 6 years, 9 months ago

bring the camera i will be at the parking lot of the merc at 10 pm tonight.

Kim Murphree 6 years, 10 months ago

You can watch a video regarding fireworks safety from the LPD, DGSO, and LDCFM at that explains alot more, including what do to for immediate injuries.

riverdrifter 6 years, 10 months ago

When it comes to fireworks, Baldwin is Dodge City and it's perferctly legal. The place erupts on the 4th after sundown. Funny thing: nothing ever seems to burn down and I haven't heard of anybody having their hand or fingers blown off. Any mayor or city council member who mentions a fireworks ban is removed from office the following election.

kernal 6 years, 10 months ago

Don't forget that m-80's and cherry bombs are illegal in this country since the Child Protection Act was passed.

If you are a parent and let your small children handle firecrackers, good luck to you.

gccs14r 6 years, 10 months ago

I wish whoever is setting off aerials in east Lawrence would knock it off already. Our dog is basically in hiding from mid-June until August every year.

gatekeeper 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm having the same issues in N. Lawrence. And they wait until about midnight to start. My poor dog needs some xanex and everyone in our neighborhood would love to get some sleep.

Ewok79 6 years, 9 months ago

well give him some of yours, I'm sure you got plenty to share.

pizzapete 6 years, 10 months ago

I have a neighbor I suspect is making his own fireworks. The idiot was launching the stuff over my house last year. I was thinking about taking a trip this weekend, but was reminded by another article in the paper today that I should stick around to be sure he doesn't blow my roof off or burn my house down. Because of this jerk I'm actually hoping it rains.

allinyourhead 6 years, 9 months ago

"Don't light fireworks inside medal, glass or plastic containers."

Medal?!? Fire your editor, already.

wmathews 6 years, 9 months ago

It looks like someone fixed the error overnight. Thanks for letting us know!

Whitney Mathews Assistant Community Editor for Online

Gene Wallace 6 years, 9 months ago

We are launching a Sky Lantern on the 4th. Similar to the ones in these wedding reception pictures.

kernal 6 years, 9 months ago

"...and I haven't heard of anybody having their hand or fingers blown off." riverdrifter, I guess it's been awhile, but yes there have been some instances in the past. Three stand out in my mind. First was the neighbor on Massachusetts St. who had enough of her new neighbors shooting off fireworks late into the night and went after then with a loaded gun. Then there was the boy who blew off some fingers. An adult was supervising, but how fast can you run to get to your child before the firecracker explodes in his hand? Also, someone's roof caught fire from some aerial fireworks.

The LJW used to provide the number of revelers taken to LMH ER for 4th of July injuries. The numbers were a lot higher before fireworks were banned in the city limits.

As it's unlikely we will have anymore rain before the 4th, things are going to be drier than last year due to the extreme heat. I would hope that those of you who enjoy your fireworks in the city will take that into consideration when shooting off aerials in neighborhoods.

avoice 6 years, 9 months ago

Except that riverdrifter was talking about Baldwin.

independent_rebel 6 years, 9 months ago

The ban is ridiculous because the police do nothing about it. No different than other toothless regulations are in this City.

I don't believe in the ban to begin with, but it fits perfect with the left-wing, anti-American sentiment that is destroying this city.

Here are some things that should be banned from Lawrence that would make us safer: drunk college students, homeless transients that cause trouble all over town, any adult listed as a sexual predator, and the ridiculous number of apartment complexes popping up all over town, turning the older apartment complexes into ghettos.

countrygirl 6 years, 9 months ago

So where is the cheapest/best place to buy fireworks in the Lawrence area?

FlintlockRifle 6 years, 9 months ago

When are we going back to be able to shoot our "old firecreckers" I have some I have had for several years stored in an ammo, can just waiting for Lawrence to pass the law back to the good ole days, kids don't know what they are missing, and yes I still have all my fingers.

jesse499 6 years, 9 months ago

Maybe you still have all your fingers because your firecrackers are in that ammo can do you think?

Tom McCune 6 years, 9 months ago

I loved bottle rockets. That was the most fun a kid could have for a few pennies.

jesse499 6 years, 9 months ago

I agree tell the grown ups got a hold of them and started shoting them at each other and over houses

jesse499 6 years, 9 months ago

Most Kids had respect for these things but the grown ups that didn't ruin it for them.

Kontum1972 6 years, 9 months ago

Claymores..anyone..? its a ripping good time...right Charlie...Huwah!

jesse499 6 years, 9 months ago

Shhhh As you could see by yesterdays paper we have a few that might try it.

6 years, 9 months ago

OK - so here's a different question - which towns besides Baldwin are personal fireworks friendly so we can leave Lawrence and go spend some money there while having some personal fireworks fun?

We used to have big family get togethers over the 4th holiday, but since the ban, it hasn't happened. I used to contribute more money than I want to admit to the local economy for these gatherings. I would like to get back to that tradition.

So - which towns around northeast Kansas, in addition to Baldwin, are friendly towards people firing off their own fireworks? For example, I've seen quite a few fireworks sales tents going up in Tonganoxie - but don't know what their city's policy is.

Kontum1972 6 years, 9 months ago

if your not from tongie....i wouldnt go there...everytime i have stopped there for something on the main street i get this...your not from here, are ya boy...!

Same thing happened to me at the grocery store that borders 24/40....your not from here are ya boy...would that be profiling?

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