Fireworks etiquette, laws to remember for Fourth of July

New Era file photo

The city urges residents to leave fireworks to the professionals. Hopkinsville will host its Red, White and Oooh! Community Fireworks Show beginning at approximately 9 p.m. Thursday at Ruff Park. Parking for viewers is available at the Hopkinsville Community College and Christian County High School lots.

Over the next few days, the skies of Christian County will light up with fireworks as the whole country celebrates Independence Day. But some residents may not know the laws surrounding fireworks in the county.

In Hopkinsville — and all of Kentucky — you must be 18 years old to purchase fireworks. According to Hopkinsville City Ordinance 25-2011, within city limits, you must be at least 200 feet away from any structures, vehicles and other people.

Never shoot fireworks at other people or cars. Fireworks are also not allowed to be lit within or thrown from a vehicle.

According to the city of Hopkinsville’s fireworks safety tips, you should keep a water hose or bucket of water close by when lighting fireworks.

Sparklers are one of the most-used fireworks during this holiday. They create heat up to 1,200 degrees F.

Once you are finished with a sparkler, it should be placed in a water bucket. Never leave spent sparklers in the yard because they could have a bit of spark left and create a fire.

If a firework malfunctions, never attempt to re-ignite it. The city of Hopkinsville advises you to douse malfunctioning fireworks with water before disposing of them.

Never attempt to carry a firework in your pocket or shoot bottle rockets out of your pocket. If you have a young child, noisemakers are a great alternative to fireworks.

Another rule to remember: fireworks may only be ignited from 10 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. July 1 through July 5, according to the Hopkinsville fireworks ordinance.

The city urges residents to leave fireworks to the professionals. It says the safest way to enjoy fireworks “is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.”

Hopkinsville will be holding its Red, White and Oooh! Community Fireworks Show beginning at approximately 9 p.m. Thursday at Ruff Park. Parking for viewers is available at the Hopkinsville Community College and Christian County High School lots.

The same rules apply in Oak Grove in regards to fireworks; however the more rural area of Christian County adds a few more caveats. In Oak Grove — and the rest of Christian County — fireworks cannot be lit within 200 feet of agricultural crops, wooded areas or heavily vegetated areas or fields.

Fireworks also cannot be lit within 600 feet of a church, assisted living facility, nursing home, hospital, funeral home or public or private school building.

In Elkton, fireworks may be discharged within the city limits during the holiday season between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. In Guthrie, fireworks may only be shot off July 4. However, within Todd County limits, there is no fireworks ordinance.

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