As the Fourth of July weekend progresses, local fire and law enforcement officials are urging residents to attend professional, public fireworks displays in their towns rather than lighting fireworks themselves.
Officials cite dry, drought conditions that have led to a statewide outdoor burn ban, as well as statistics on injuries and property damage that can result from consumer fireworks.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2009, 8,800 people were treated in U.S. hospitals for fireworks-related injuries, and 18,000 reported fires were started by fireworks. Thirty-nine percent of fireworks injuries involve children under 15, according to the NFPA.
In the New Orleans area, several parishes restrict the use of fireworks entirely. State law prohibits anyone from offering to sell or selling fireworks to any child under the age of 15.
The following is a list of parishes in the New Orleans viewing area and their fireworks restrictions:
- Jefferson Parish – Fireworks are illegal except within Gretna city limits
- Orleans Parish –Fireworks are illegal.
- Lafourche Parish – Fireworks are only legal on specific holidays/times, rest of the year illegal. This weekend, it’s legal to shoot off fireworks on Saturday from 9a-9p and Sunday and Monday from 9a-midnight.
- Plaquemines Parish– Fireworks are legal.
- St. Bernard Parish – Fireworks are only legal on certain holidays/times, rest of the year illegal. This weekend, it’s legal to shoot fireworks until 11pm on Saturday and until midnight on Sunday and Monday.
- St. Charles Parish – Fireworks are illegal.
- St. John the Baptist – Fireworks are only legal on the 4th of July.
- St. Tammany Parish – Fireworks are legal, but because of the statewide burn ban, St. Tammany Parish is encouraging residents to go to public displays. Fireworks sales and usage is banned inside the city limits of Slidell.
- Tangipahoa Parish – Fireworks are legal, but in light of burn ban, officials encourage extreme caution and having water sources nearby for consumers who decide to light up.
- Terrebonne Parish – Fireworks are illegal.