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City of Morgantown a no-fly zone for fireworks

For many, the culmination of America’s Independence Day is the bright colors and thunderous boom of fireworks after the sun sets. 

For those planning on launching their own aerial tribute this evening, the City of Morgantown is reminding residents inside city limits that while fireworks may be legal in the state, Morgantown has a fireworks ordinance in place to ensure the safety and well-being of residents. 

To mitigate potential risks associated with fireworks displays and prevent injuries, property damage, and potential fire hazards, the city strictly prohibits any fireworks capable of exploding or launching into the air, Morgantown Fire Marshal Captain Jason Quinn said in a Monday press release.  

Anyone found setting off things like firecrackers, bottle rockets, Roman candles, mortars, and similar aerial or explosive devices are subject to fines up to $500, according to the city code.  

Residents in city limits are permitted to enjoy novelty fireworks that are ground-based and non-aerial like sparklers, fountains, smoke devices, and snakes.  

“These fireworks produce visual effects, emit sparks, or create smoke without exploding or propelling into the air,” Quinn said of the novelties. “The city recognizes the joy and excitement these fireworks can bring to celebrations while ensuring a reasonable level of safety.” 

Quinn said the city wanted to remind citizens about the importance of adhering to fireworks safety regulations and offered some essential fireworks safety guidelines. Taking these small safety measures will help minimize the risks associated with fireworks. 

  • Use fireworks in designated areas, away from buildings, vehicles, and flammable materials. 
  • Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby for emergencies and to extinguish fireworks properly. 
  • Supervise children closely when handling fireworks and never allow them to ignite fireworks without adult supervision. 
  • Light one firework at a time, move away quickly, and never attempt to relight a malfunctioning firework. 
  • Dispose of used fireworks in a bucket of water to ensure they are fully extinguished. 

While some fireworks are legal outside of city limits, there are still some laws to consider before lighting that fuse.  

West Virginia code states you cannot ignite or use fireworks on public or private property without permission from the property owner. You cannot light fireworks or sparklers inside a car or building or throw fireworks from a car or building. You also cannot intentionally ignite or discharge a firework or sparkling devices into or at a motor vehicle or building, or at a person or group of people. Finally, you cannot use fireworks or a sparkling device if you are under the influence of alcohol, any controlled substance, any other drug, or any combination.