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Police Issue Illegal Aerial Fireworks Warning

December 26, 2017, 10:32 AM HST · Updated December 26, 10:35 AM
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Hawaiʻi Island police issued a warning today, asking for the public’s assistance in reporting information about the location of illegal aerial fireworks as well as the identity of people in possession of illegal pyrotechnic devices.

The department reminded the public of an incident on Oʻahu last New Year’s Day which resulted in a woman’s death and her male companion being critically injured.

“These explosive aerial devices are extremely dangerous to anyone nearby and should only be handled by trained, licensed professionals. We have already had numerous reports of these devices being ignited on the island,” police said.

Hawaiʻi state law dictates that anyone purchasing, possessing, storing, setting off, igniting or discharging aerial devices, display fireworks or articles pyrotechnic without a valid pyrotechnic permit may face felony charges resulting in a five-year term of imprisonment if convicted.

“Please remember that anyone igniting aerial pyrotechnic displays risk not only their life but also the lives of loved ones nearby and potentially neighbors as well,” Hawaiʻi Island police said.

Meantime on Maui, the sale of New Year’s Eve fireworks begins today, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017.  A fireworks permit is not required for consumer fireworks such as sparklers, snakes, and cylindrical or cone fountains which emit effects not higher than 12 feet off the ground. However, a fireworks permit is required for the use of fire crackers. Each permit costs $25.00, and is good for the purchase of up to 5,000 pieces of fire crackers.

There are 937 permits available on Maui, 89 on Lanai and 84 on Molokai.

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Fireworks can only be legally set off from 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve to 1 a.m. New Year’s Day.  Setting off fireworks outside of designated times is punishable by law, with violators subject to fines of up to $2,000.  The import, transfer, sale, or use of aerial fireworks without a permit is a Class C Felony.

There are two public Aerial Fireworks Displays on Maui this year:  one at at the Grand Wailea Resort from an offshore barge; and another at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai between the resort and Mānele Harbor.

Maui fire officials say that, “the only way to stay safe is to not use fireworks in the first place,” and to “leave fireworks to the professionals.”

Anyone having information about the location of illegal fireworks is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line or 9-1-1 if it is an emergency situation.

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