Get ready for the cacophony of firecrackers as New Year’s Eve approaches.
Sales of firecrackers on Oahu began today and so far 17,804 firecracker permits have been issued, according to the Honolulu Fire Department.
HFD reminds the public that only the purchase and use of firecrackers is allowed under the city’s fireworks ordinance. All other fireworks are illegal for consumer use on Oahu.
That number is just 128 more than the 17,676 firecracker permits sold in 2018, but 3,147 less than the 20,951 sold in 2017. Sales will end at midnight Dec. 31.
On Oahu, firecrackers may only be ignited or discharged from 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve Dec. 31 until 1 a.m. New Year’s Day on Jan. 1, 2020.
“We hope that people will respect the fireworks ordinance and understand the dangers associated with firecracker use,” said Fire Chief Manuel P. Neves in a news release. “While the number of fireworks-related injuries on Oahu is typically lower than elsewhere in the nation, even a single incident is one too many because it causes suffering, which is preventable. If people take the necessary precautions and obey the rules, we will truly have a happy New Year’s Eve.”
Neves added that the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the public displays conducted by licensed professionals. Fireworks shows are scheduled across the isle – from Waikiki and Ko Olina to Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore.
HFD reminds the public that it is unlawful for any person on Oahu to throw ignited firecrackers from above the first floor of any building or from, at, or into a vehicle; ignite firecrackers on public ways, in parks, cane fields, or places of worship, on public beaches, in forest or wildlife preserves, in school buildings or on school grounds, within 1,000 feet of hospitals, health and elderly care facilities, and facilities that care for animals, including the zoo, and within 500 feet from a hotel.
It is illegal to transport firecrackers in carry-on or checked luggage, airline cargo, or mail, or to remove or extract pyrotechnic contents.
It is illegal to offer for sale, sell, or give any firecrackers to minors. It is also illegal for minors to use firecrackers on Oahu, even with adult supervision.
The possession or use of aerial fireworks is illegal, unless a display permit is issued by the HFD fire chief.
The Honolulu Fire Department offered the following safety tips:
>> Use only approved firecrackers from a licensed retail outlet that posts its retail license.
>> Always read and follow warnings and instructions listed by the manufacturer to ensure the safe handling and use of firecrackers.
>> Never point or throw firecrackers at a person, building, or animal.
>> Never ignite firecrackers indoors.
>> Ensure your outdoor area is safe for firecracker use. Firecrackers should only be lit on a smooth, flat surface away from buildings, dry vegetation, and flammable materials.
>> Do not string firecrackers on utility poles.
>> Keep ladders, poles, or tie lines that are used to set up firecrackers at least 10 feet away from power lines.
>> Never ignite firecrackers in metal or glass containers.
>> Have a garden hose or a bucket of water ready in the event of a fire.
>> Firecrackers must not be used by persons under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
>> Always wear eye protection when lighting firecrackers.
>> When lighting firecrackers, never position any part of your body over them.
>> Never attempt to reignite malfunctioning firecrackers.
>> Store firecrackers in a cool, dry place.
>> Never carry firecrackers in your pocket.
>> Never experiment with homemade firecrackers, as they are dangerous and illegal.