ST. CHARLES PARISH, LA (WVUE) - New rules adopted in St. Charles Parish last year, mean residents there can now shoot fireworks over New Year's and on the July 4th holidays.
The parish says deputies will enforce the limited hours and respond to complaints of people setting off fireworks outside of the allowable time frame.
According to the parish ordinance, fireworks can be used on December 31 from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on January 1. Fireworks can again be used on January 1 from 9:00 a.m. through 10:00 p.m.
"The St. Charles Parish Council in 2013 responded to many citizens' request for a limited time to celebrate responsibly. I urge citizens to respect the rights of their neighbors and the law by confining the discharge of fireworks to these hours only. Another common complaint is the trash and debris left on public streets following the celebration. If you use fireworks, please clean up after yourselves. Abuse of this privilege could easily result in the council repealing the limited use of fireworks," Sheriff Greg Champagne said.
Deputies will issue citations to anyone found discharging fireworks at other times. The St. Charles Sheriff's Office says law also does not allow fireworks to be lit within 1,000 feet from a gas station, industrial facility or any location named in the ordinance.
If you do set off fireworks, Sheriff Champagne offered some safety tips:
• Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
• Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
• Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Some parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
• Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
• Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
• Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
• Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
• Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
• After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.