2018-06-29 / In the Know

Review the consumer fireworks ordinance

By B. Michael Thurlow and Police Chief Robert Moulton Special to the Leader

Last summer the town council ordinance committee made some changes to the consumer fireworks ordinance 608A that we wanted to make everyone aware of as we approach the Fourth of July holiday.

The revised ordinance is dated June 20, 2017 and is available for download from the town’s website at: www.scarboroughmaine.org/town-government/ town-ordinances.

The substantive changes include the elimination of July 5 as one of the days when consumer fireworks are allowed to be discharged.

Now there are only four days per year when it is legal to use consumer fireworks: July 3-4, Dec. 3 and Jan. 1.

The second change was to limit the times when it is legal to use consumer fireworks on July 4.

Previously, they were allowed from 9 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. the next day, but the new revision to the ordinance limits the hours of use to 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on each of the four days per year that they are allowed to be used, including July 4.

The third change the town council made was the creation of a Consumer Fireworks Notification of Intent Form.

This is an electronic form that residents and visitors are required to fill out which notifies the public safety dispatch center of who and where fireworks are planned to be discharged.

That form is available at www.scarboroughmaine.org/fireworks and for those that don’t have internet access, you can complete and submit a paper form at the dispatch center or one of the local neighborhood fire stations.

Finally, town council also instituted the following Respect your Neighbors Consumer Fireworks Guidelines:

• Use fireworks strictly in accordance with the submitted notification form.

• Do not use fireworks after 10 p.m. on the days allowed.

• Do not use fireworks in any way that could unreasonably infringe upon your neighbors’ safety or peaceful enjoyment of their property.

• Inform your neighbors in advance where and when you are planning to use fireworks.

• Do not use fireworks near animals or livestock that may become frightened.

• Only set off fireworks in areas where no fireworks debris will fall on your neighbors’ property or any environmentally sensitive areas (e.g., beaches, marshes, or wetlands).

• Do not permit anyone under the age of 21 to use fireworks.

• Carefully follow the safety instructions provide by the seller of the fireworks.

Although not a change from the original ordinance, please remember that fireworks can only be discharged from private property with the owner’s permission.

They cannot be discharged from the town’s beaches or any public property.

If you have any questions about his article you may contact Chief Thurlow at mthurlow@scarboroughmaine.org or 730-4201, or Chief Moulton at rmoulton@scarboroughmaine.org or 883-6361.

B. Michael Thurlow is fire chief for Scarborough. Robert Moulton is police chief for Scarborough.

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