Councilwoman Harlee calls on police and fire officials for more education, enforcement around fireworks usage

WILMINGTON– Councilwoman Michelle Harlee, 4thDistrict, is expected to introduce a resolution encouraging the Wilmington Fire Department and the Wilmington Police Department to continue to educate the public on dangers of fireworks and requests the agencies provide more enforcement of the restrictions set forth in the Delaware State Code.

The National Fire Protection Association found that fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires every year, with amounts to approximately $43 million in direct property damage.

In 2017, an estimated 12,900 people were sent to the emergency room for fireworks-related injuries, and children accounted for more than one-third of that number.

“Residents in Wilmington have reported fireworks being used illegally, and sometimes in ways that could pose a threat to safety and property,” said Councilwoman Harlee. “By providing the public with a robust education program on fireworks, we can work to eliminate the potential for damage to properties, injuries and even death.”

Delaware State Code stipulates that fireworks and other combustible devices can generally be used only by organizations with the appropriate permit for public display of fireworks.

However, individuals are permitted to use sparklers and limited ground-based or hand-held devices on July 4, December 31 and January 1 of each year.

Fireworks have the capacity to add awe and entertainment in celebratory settings, Harlee said, but these low-grade explosives can disrupt communities, create respiratory hazards and can be dangerous, particularly for children.

“Wilmington Fire Department and the Wilmington Police Department not only serve to provide the people of Wilmington with emergency services and support to maintain order, but also work to educate the public on risky behaviors and situations.” Said Councilwoman Harlee.  “And, I would like to encourage them to provide the public with information regarding the hazards and dangers of fireworks, and to enforce the restrictions set forth in the Delaware State Code.”

The resolution is expected to be presented to the Public Safety Committee on September 10, and City Council on September 20.


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