Eastern and Central Kentucky
Number of Fireworks Stands Explodes
The Lexington Divisions of Fire and Building Inspection are busy leading up to the July 4th holiday. This time last year, businesses applied for around 12-15 permits to operate fireworks stands in Lexington. Now thanks to a new state law, that number has more than doubled. Marshall Griggs is a battalion chief with the Lexington fire department.
"We're going out every day inspecting fireworks establishments and tents, making sure that everything that they're selling is legal."
People in Kentucky can now buy what are called 1.4 consumer fireworks, including Roman candles and bottle rockets.
Local governments with safety concerns can pass stricter ordinances to supersede the state law, but Lexington officials say they will wait to see how things go over the July 4th holiday.
In the mean time, the public safety department is making a final push in a campaign to educate consumers about the dangers of fireworks.
"So now folks are going to be going out and buying fireworks that can go up into the air," says Griggs. "As a result of that, that brings into issue as far as location and what areas are safe to do so. Anytime you add greater explosive potential there's a greater chance for injuries."
Griggs says if people do choose to buy the bigger fireworks, they should follow safety guidelines. Fireworks should be at least 200 feet away from a building before they are lit, and should be handled only by adults.