NOPD warns private fireworks illegal in Orleans Parish - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

NOPD warns private fireworks illegal in Orleans Parish

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FOX 8 News received this press release from the New Orleans Police Department Monday afternoon, prior to New Year's Eve celebrations:

Fireworks Safety

Private firework usage is ILLEGAL in Orleans Parish

From the American Crime Prevention Institute :

Fireworks are dangerous and their use is often illegal (such as in Orleans Parish).

The Annual Effect of Fireworks:

• Each year, fireworks cause more than 8,000 injuries

• Fireworks result in an average of 20 deaths each year

• 25% of fireworks-related injuries are to children 14 and under

• Fireworks cause $26 million in property damage each year.

• Annually, fireworks cause more than 24,000 fires

The laws related to the use of fireworks vary from state to state. Explosive devices known as M-80s, M-100s, blockbusters or quarter-pounders are illegal in all states, and have been federally banned since 1966. These explosive devices do not show the manufacturers name and are usually totally unlabeled.

Fireworks Safety Tips (For those areas OUTSIDE of Orleans Parish where fireworks are LEGAL):

• Always wear safety glasses when using fireworks.

• Do not wear loose clothing when using fireworks

• An adult should always be present and supervise the use of fireworks

• If fireworks are legal in your state, purchase them from a licensed dealer only. In many states, it is illegal to purchase mail-order fireworks.

• Know and follow your state's fireworks laws

• Read all labels and follow all instructions before lighting fireworks

• Use a "punk" (a substance that smolders when lighted – used to light fireworks) to ignite the fireworks. Punks burn without an open flame and provide a greater, safer distance between the hand and the fireworks.

• Light one firework at a time

• Have a safe landing zone for aerial fireworks. Consideration should be given to wind direction and ignitability of everything in the landing zone

• Have a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water on hand to extinguish an incipient fire.

• Never use fireworks inside or in a vehicle

• Never ignite fireworks while holding them. Put them down, then ignite them and walk away.

• Never confine fireworks begin ignited. Don't put fireworks in any container to ignite.

• Never assume an ignited firework that fails to explode is safe to approach. A delayed explosion has injured many people. Any malfunctioning fireworks should be abandoned.

• Never use fireworks while drinking alcoholic beverages. The slowness of response and impaired judgment will cause injuries.

• Never take fireworks apart or mix anything with their contents or make fireworks at home. The making of an explosive device is a felony, punishable by imprisonment and fine, if you live.

• Never ignite aerial fireworks where overhead obstructions (trees, eaves, wires, etc.) may interfere with trajectory into open air space. Never ignite aerial fireworks near an opening to a building. An open garage door or window could allow aerial fireworks to fly into the structure and cause a fire.

• Do not point or throw fireworks at other people

• Do not carry fireworks in you pockets. If one happens to ignite, severe burns may result

• Keep fireworks in a cool dry place, and not in the home.

• Always keep spectators a safe distance away. At least 35 feet for ground items and at least 100 feet for aerial and exploding items. For fireworks novelties that move on the ground, always be alert and aim them away from spectators

• Never place any part of your body (especially your head) over a firework when lighting. Approach the item from the side and ignite it while keeping your body away from it

• Before lighting a firework, make sure it is sturdy and level. Do not place fireworks on uneven surfaces or grass. Always shoot from a hard, level surface free of debris

• Never attempt to relight an item that has malfunctioned or not shot. Stay clear of the firework until sure it is completely out.

• Do not put devices that explode into metal or glass containers. Shrapnel can cause serious injuries.

• Dispose of fireworks only after you are sure they are completely out. If needed, spray them down with a hose and allow them to cool overnight. Treat them much as you would fireplace/stove ashes.

NOPD also sent this press release Monday evening, warning of the consequences of celebratory gunfire:

Celebratory Gunfire is the shooting of a firearm into the air in celebration generally on holidays such as New Year's Eve/ New Year's Day.  This type of celebration, normally a tradition, can result in injury, property damage or random death due to stray bullets. 

In Orleans Parish and the City of New Orleans, the practice is illegal and persons in violation can be charged with 17271 MCS Sec. 54-336. - Discharging certain weapons prohibited:

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to fire or discharge in the parish any of the following weapons:

          (1) Any shotgun, rifle, firearm or hunter's bow and arrow;

          (2) Any air rifle or air pistol or any weapon which can or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of any air pressure

and possibly other charges in relation to the incident

Have a wonderful and SAFE New Year's Eve and New Year

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