The upcoming Fourth of July weekend is expected to be a little louder and flashier than usual across Kentucky. The number of fireworks stands across the commonwealth is way up over last year.
State Fire Marshall Bill Swope says 420 people received permits to sell fireworks last year. This summer, that figure has ballooned to 776 permits. Swope says the vast majority of those permits are for seasonal sales through July seventh.
“The competition has swelled for those sales. I don’t know that we’ll see that much of an increase in the number of people who are actually using fireworks for entertainment purposes,” said Swope.
A new law opens up the state to more powerful and flying fireworks. Swope says the permit revenues could top 190 thousand dollars compared to between 25 and 30 thousand dollars last year. The state fire marshall says more has been done this year in the area of enforcement and inspection. Swope says fireworks safety education has increased and the fireworks industry is doing more to police itself.
“With the help of the fire service, with the help of the building officials, we have probably done more this year in terms of ensuring inspection and the enforcement than we’ve done in previous years,” added Swope.
Swope says there haven’t been that many calls to his office from people with questions about the new law. He says there’s been an increased effort made at educating the public and the fireworks industry about safety issues.