The 4th of July holiday is a time of celebration, but also a time of potential dangers. The City of Valparaiso is reminding residents that restrictions are in place regarding the use of fireworks, and that penalties may result from violations. The guidelines include:
• Fireworks may be used only on the user’s property or on the property of someone who has consented to the use of fireworks.
• Fireworks are not permitted on public property or in areas where fireworks will land on, litter or end up on public property or private property (unless the property owner has consented).
• To prevent fireworks and their debris from polluting waterways, all fireworks litter must be extinguished, retrieved, and disposed of in the trash by those using the fireworks.
• Fireworks are permitted only between the hours of 5 pm and midnight on July 4th. On all other days of the year, fireworks are permitted between the hours of 5 pm and two hours after sunset, with the exception also of Dec. 31, where fireworks are permitted from 5 pm to 1 am on Jan. 1. All other guidelines apply.
• Fireworks may be purchased only by persons 18 years of age and older and children may possess or use fireworks only with an adult present.
Further, Valparaiso’s Fireworks ordinance states that those using fireworks must comply with the guidelines above or risk penalties for violation. Those using fireworks are liable for damage to person or property caused by the use of consumer fireworks, special fireworks or banned fireworks, and shall also be liable for costs of fire service by a responding fire department or other emergency services necessitated by the use or discharge of fireworks.