MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

June 30, 2013

Fireworks rules not uniform

Municipalities set different restrictions

By Travis Sloat
Phoenix Staff Writer

— In addition to following the safety guidelines for fireworks, city residents are also expected to follow local ordinances on when and where they can use them.

According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, Americans spend $940 million  a year on fireworks, and almost 10,000 people a year are injured by them.

Sherri Brown, who attends Rose of Sharon Church, was braving Thursday’s triple-digit heat working in the fireworks stand at Main Street and Shawnee Bypass. The stand is a fundraiser for the church’s youth group.

Brown said business was steadily picking up as the end of the month neared.

“A lot of people will start getting paid at the end of the month, so that helps,” she said.

Although some cities place restrictions on fireworks, locals also usually have an option to attend free shows put on by the city, churches or organizations.

A representative from the city of Muskogee said fireworks can be set off only from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday.

Wagoner allows fireworks use from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

Checotah allows fireworks usage through Friday. For times, call the city offices.

Eufaula doesn’t allow fireworks within the city limits, but it does provide a free show on Thursday.

Tahlequah allows fireworks from midnight to 11:59 p.m. on Thursday only.

Fireworks safety is essential to reduce injuries, and Brown said the main component of that is adult supervision.

“I know sparklers look like fun,” she said. “But they get hot. And you should always keep a bucket of water close by just in case of an emergency.”

Reach Travis Sloat at (918) 684-2908 or tsloat@muskogeephoenix.com.