SAFETY Basics for 4th of July

Friday, June 28, 2024

If you’re planning to celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks this year, it’s crucial that you understand the rules and regulations.

While fireworks can be a source of fun, it’s important to remember that they can also pose serious risks if not handled properly.

Indiana has potential state and local laws that affect everyone celebrating with fireworks, including those mishandling them.

FIREWORK BASICS

You must be an adult, 18 or older, to buy fireworks in Indiana.

Remember, it’s always essential to have a responsible adult, 18 or older, present when children are using or in possession of fireworks.

Fireworks can only be used on personal property, the property of someone who has granted you permission to use fireworks, or a place designated by the Indiana State Fire Marshal, a regulatory authority responsible for ensuring public safety, to discharge consumer fireworks.

Fireworks use is allowed between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., except on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and New Year’s Eve, unless a local ordinance says otherwise.

The times on the following dates are protected in Indiana for the use of fireworks and may not be prohibited by local ordinance:

June 29-July 3: from 5 p.m. until two hours after sunset

July 4: from 10 a.m. to midnight

July 5-9: from 5 p.m. until two hours after sunset

Dec. 31: from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.

LOCAL ORDINANCES

Brazil Police Department reported statistical data, including:

Noise complaints - 93 complaints in 2023, 44 complaints so far in 2024.

Archer said people need to realize fireworks can infringe upon other people.

“The ordinance says that nobody within the city shall permit excessive noise if that noise disturbs or injures another person,” said Archer. “Even though the state law says you can shoot those things off. You do have to remember they’re extremely loud.”

Penalties for violating noise complaints enforced by the City Ordinance (such as loud music, etc.) are punishable under the State Statute for Disorderly Conduct. These penalties can include fines, community service, or even imprisonment, depending on the severity of the violation and the number of times it has occurred.

SHOOTING OFF GUNS IN CELEBRATION

Weapons complaints, enforced by various City Ordinances (for example, firing guns in the city), were reported 36 times in 2023, and 12 complaints have been reported so far in 2024. 

Officials say people must remember that “what goes up, will come down,” not where you expect.

Archer and Police Chief Clint McQueen both explain that fountains and other ground-oriented fireworks are usually not a problem.

“It’s when aerial fireworks shoot or angle over somebody else’s property. That’s a violation,” said McQueen. “They have to stay within your property.”

TRESPASS

Brazil Police Department urges people to stay in approved areas or on their property while celebrating.

There were 265 trespass complaints in 2023 and 99 so far in 2024. When looking for the perfect spot to watch fireworks, officials say don’t go where you are not supposed to.

People need to be aware of some changes in the law against trespassing this year. The law previously required a warning to be given to the person trespassing. In the past, a property owner or manager would ask law enforcement to issue a trespass warning. However, due to a recent Indiana Supreme Court decision, police officers can no longer issue trespass warnings. Property owners/managers are now required to issue them themselves, which means they have more direct control over trespassing issues.  

However, due to a recent Indiana Supreme Court decision, police officers can no longer issue trespass warnings. Property owners/managers are now required to issue them themselves.

BONFIRES

If you plan to have a recreational burning pit inside the city limits during the holiday, you must apply for a permit.

The City of Brazil website (brazil.in.gov) has a link called “I want to...” that allows a resident to apply online for a permit for a recreational burning pit. This can be done as late as the day of an event. The process typically involves filling out an application form and providing details about the event and the safety measures in place.

THINK SAFETY

The 4th of July is a busy time in Brazil, with many families attending various festivities.

“You don’t want to make yourself a victim,” said Archer and McQueen. “Stay cool and hydrated. We encourage people to have fun and enjoy the holiday, but remember to think about safety. Have a nearby water source or a fire extinguisher close by if needed. Lock your car doors. Put your pets somewhere safe away from the noise. Enjoy the holiday, but stay safe.”

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Wabash Valley Fireworks

CLAY CITY

Clay City Fair

Saturday, June 29th

BRAZIL

89th Annual Brazil Rotary Club 4th of July Celebration

Thursday, July 4th

JASONVILLE

Jasonville Area Chamber of Commerce Annual 4th of July Fireworks Show (Shakamak area, Hanna Field)

Friday, July 5

ROCKVILLE

Raccoon Lake’s Independence Day Fireworks Celebration

Saturday, July 6

SEELYVILLE

Big Bang at the Lake

Outdoor Recreation Club

($10 per car)

Saturday, June 29

TERRE HAUTE

July 4th at Fairbanks Park

(Rain date July 5)

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