Posted in News on July 8, 2019
Fireworks are a staple in all states on Independence Day and during other celebratory events. What better way to express the ultimate joy of the celebration than by witnessing beautiful fireworks light up the sky? Though watching fireworks can be an awe-inspiring experience, all Montana residents must remember that they are still dangerous. Fireworks are explosive devices that, although beautiful, can come with some life-threatening backlash if used in the wrong way.
2019 Montana Firework Regulations
The state of Montana allows its residents to create their own firework displays on Independence Day, though the set-up and regulations surrounding these displays are strict. To maintain public safety, safety guidelines must be met by all residents that choose to set off their own fireworks:
- Stick rockets, bottle rockets, and roman candles are prohibited. These types of fireworks are too dangerous to operate on your own, resulting in the state establishing their illegal status.
- All children under 10 years old must remain with a supervising adult (within 10 feet) during the firework display. This applies to home shows in which children might try to help or take part in discharging the fireworks. Moreover, this protects them from any firework malfunctions.
- Residents can only discharge fireworks on their private property. This means no park-related barbecues capped off by a home firework display. Private property refers to just your immediate property – it does not include the surrounding streets, sidewalks, or cul-de-sacs that you might treat as your property.
- All residents must clean up the remnants of their firework show. Fireworks come with a lot of debris – in Montana, it is illegal not to clean up debris that might have accumulated in public areas, even if you discharged the explosives from your yard.
Penalties for failing to adhere to these regulations involve fines that escalate with each offense. A first offense enacts a fine of $100, with the second and third offenses tacking an extra $100 onto each previous fine amount (ex. Third offense is $300). A fourth offense results in a $1,000 fine.
Though fireworks are fun to watch, all residents that plan on launching them on Independence Day should remember the following tips:
- Do not shoot your fireworks out from under a canopy, awning, or other device that the firework could snag and catch on fire.
- Always advise on-lookers to remain at least 10 feet away from where the fireworks are being discharged. After you discharge a firework, join the rest of the audience at a distance.
- Keep a bucket of water and a first-aid kit on hand to treat potential burns and put out fires caused by malfunctioning fireworks, or fireworks that are lit before the show by those that may not adhere to proper safety guidelines (ex. Children and teens).
- Launch fireworks in a clear area that does not contain many trees. Remember that your launch angle also impacts where the firework goes – making sure to reduce the amount of foliage and other natural obstacles could prevent accidental launchings from creating fires.
- Do not point or aim fireworks at other individuals or inanimate objects. Again, accidental discharges and malfunctions do occur.
- Do not attempt to re-light fireworks that have already been launched, or that don’t work. Dysfunctional fireworks can unexpectedly combust, causing injury to the user.
- Position yourself so that no part of your body is over the firework while you are lighting it – even if you think you’re fast enough not to get snagged.
Residing in a state that allows you to create your own firework displays is a blessing. Not all states like Montana provide conditions that allow residents to take an active role in creating a show – some are left to frequent overcrowded public parks for city-run shows. Remember to take advantage of this privilege without abusing it – unsafe firework usage can turn an exhilarating experience into a catastrophic emergency in a matter of seconds. Heed the safety regulations set forth by the state, and enjoy your show in a safe, responsible manner.