Who can and can't shoot off fireworks

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Countywide, police and fire officials are preparing for the 4th of July week ahead and the discharge of fireworks.

In the corporate city limits of Berryville and Eureka Springs, the discharge of fireworks is strictly forbidden by municipal ordinance and offenders could be cited.

Only city-sponsored public displays are allowed, such as Berryville's Fire on the Mountain.

In the unincorporated areas of the county, there is no ordinance against the discharge of fireworks.

However, according to a Carroll County Sheriff's Office spokesperson, those involved in fireworks-related incidents could face endangerment or criminal mischief charges -- if they damage persons or property. He suggested people use "good judgement."

In Green Forest, Police Chief John Bailey outlined the rules and regulations regarding fireworks within his city limits.

No fireworks are to be discharged, he said, except on the 3rd and 4th of July from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m., from a private home or property.

Also, fireworks may not be discharged within 600 feet of any church or school, nor within 600 feet of the town square.

In addition, people may not discharge fireworks within 200 feet of places where fireworks are sold or stored.

It is also illegal to discharge fireworks from a motor vehicle or to shoot fireworks near people or groups of people, he added.

People who disregard the rules are apt to encounter police intervention.

Bailey said his department will respond to all complaints.

"People need to understand that they are responsible for where their fireworks go -- and be aware of the direction they are shooting," he said. "If they are irritating neighbors, we'll have to come by and ask them to alter their actions."

Not only should residents be aware of the direction they shoot their rockets, but also the time of day.

"I would hope that they shoot responsibly, and during decent hours, from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m., on July 3rd and 4th only," Bailey said. "And, the use of fireworks by children must be supervised by an adult.

"If people are irresponsible," he added, "it may affect fireworks regulations in future years."

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