By Wendy Osher
There will be three public fireworks displays in Maui County to ring in the New Year, each beginning at midnight at the following locations: in Hana below Fagan’s Cross; in Kihei on a barge offshore fronting the Grand Wailea Hotel; and on Lanai at the Manele Bay Hotel.
While fireworks sales will occur in Maui County, fire officials are discouraging their use. “The best way to stay safe is not to use fireworks at all. Consider leaving fireworks to the professionals,” said Maui Fire Captain Paul Haake with the Fire Prevention Bureau.
“Because this past year has been very dry, the threat of wildfires is a major concern,” said Capt. Haake. “When using fireworks, please follow the safety tips provided, use common sense, be sure all children are supervised, and watch out for each other. Hopefully, we can all have a safe and enjoyable New Year’s celebration and continue to celebrate every new year with fireworks.”
Fireworks sales in Maui County begin on December 26, in anticipation of the New Year holiday.
Stores in Maui County participating in the sale of permit-required firecrackers are: all Foodland stores (including Lahaina Farms and Sack N Save in Wailuku), all Times supermarkets, Napili Market, the Golden Dragon tent at the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center, Pine Isle Market on Lanai, and Misaki’s and Take’s Variety stores on Molokai.
Fireworks permits are required for the purchase of firecracker-type fireworks, and each permit is good for up to 5,000 firecrackers. Permit applicants must be 18 years or older and show proof of age at the time of permit processing. Permits are available at the following locations:
- On Maui permits can be obtained at the Fire Prevention Bureau, located at 131 Manea Place in Wailuku off of Waiko Road. Permits at this location are available during normal business hours on weekdays from December 21 to 31, 2012; and on Saturday, December 29, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Permits are also available at County Parks Permit Offices at the Lahaina Civic Center and on Molokai between December 21 and 31, 2012. Both offices are closed on Christmas Day, December 25, 2012.
- On Lanai, permits are available at the Pine Isle Market from December 26 to 31, 2012.
There is no limit on the number of permits a person may purchase, and the cost per permit is $25. Novelty fireworks such as sparklers, snakes, fountains, and cylindrical or cone fountains which emit effects not higher than 12-feet off the ground, do not require permits.
The following rules in relation to fireworks use are in effect:
- Fireworks and firecrackers can only be legally set off between the hours of 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, and 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
- Setting off fireworks outside of the designated times is punishable by law, with violators subject to fines of up to $2,000.
- Maui fire officials say aerial fireworks are illegal and extremely dangerous. Violations for importing and selling aerial fireworks without a permit is considered a Class C Felony.
Other general prohibitions in effect for fireworks use include the following:
- It is unlawful to remove or extract pyrotechnic contents.
- It is unlawful to throw any ignited fireworks from a moving vehicle.
- It is unlawful to set off fireworks within 1000 feet of health care facilities and facilities for animals.
- It is unlawful to set off fireworks by schools.
- It is unlawful to set off fireworks on public roads, in county parks, at county facilities, cane fields, or places of worship.
- It is unlawful for any person without a permit to set off, ignite, discharge or otherwise cause to explode any fireworks within 500 feet from any hotel.
- It is unlawful for any person to offer for sale, sell or give any fireworks to minors, and for any minors to possess, purchase, or set off, ignite or otherwise cause to explode any fireworks, except that the parents or guardians may allow the minor to use fireworks while under the immediate supervision and control of an adult.
Some safety tips that have been released by the Maui County Fire Department, Fire Prevention Bureau include the following:
- Fireworks can be dangerous causing serious burns and eye injuries. Young children and fireworks do not mix. Never give fireworks, even sparklers to young children. Sparklers burn at temperatures of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Older children should only use fireworks under the direct supervision of an adult.
- Always read and follow all warnings and instructions listed by the manufacturer for the safe use and handling of fireworks.
- Make sure you have a clear, flat area to use the fireworks; away from structures, dry grass or brush, and readily ignitable materials.
- Have a water hose or bucket of water readily available in the case of a fire.
More information on obtaining a fireworks permit and rules and regulations surrounding their use can be found by calling the Maui Fire Prevention Bureau directly at (808) 244-9161; or by visiting the County of Maui website at co.maui.hi.us for specific fireworks rules contained within the web pages of the Department of Fire and Public Safety.