Elkins Officials Remind Public of Fireworks Rules
Elkins, W. Va., June 25, 2021: With the approach of Independence Day, City of Elkins officials want residents to stay safe, remain courteous, and follow city laws when using fireworks.
The state legislature reduced statewide restrictions on fireworks in 2016. However, per Elkins city code, “it shall be unlawful for any person to use, shoot, or discharge consumer fireworks within the City limits.” Violators of the city fireworks ordinance may be fined as much as $500.
“Consumer fireworks—which include firecrackers, rockets, Roman candles, and that sort of thing—are illegal inside city limits,” said Elkins Police Department Chief Travis Bennett. “Basically, if it’s a handheld device like a sparkler, or if it’s a ground-based device like fountains, snakes, or smoke bombs, it’s allowed. If it fires something into the air or explodes, it’s against the law in Elkins.”
Fireworks that fire into the air or explode are a significant cause of emergency room visits each summer, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). In a recent year, according to an NSC press release, “eight people died and over 12,000 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents.”
Children are especially vulnerable to fireworks-related injuries. “Of those 12,000 injuries, 50% were to children and young adults under age 20,” the NSC release states. “And while the majority of these incidents were due to amateurs attempting to use professional-grade, homemade, or other illegal fireworks or explosives, an estimated 1,200 injuries were from less powerful devices like small firecrackers and sparklers.”
In addition to potentially causing injury, fireworks can terrify pets and may trigger adverse reactions in people suffering from PTSD, including veterans.