Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Police Chief Glen Dorney and Fire Chief Lee Laubach urge city residents and visitors to obey fireworks laws and take the proper safety precautions over the Independence Day holiday.
At an afternoon news conference in City Council chambers, Pawlowski said, “We want people to enjoy the holiday, but we want them to do it safely and be mindful of the safety of their neighbors’ and their neighbors’ property.”
It is estimated that some 11,000 persons will make hospital emergency room visits from fireworks this year, most right around the July 4th holiday. According to the U.S Consumer Products Safety Commission, 31-percent of the injuries suffered last year were to children under the age of 15. Fireworks will also be the cause of thousands of dollars in property damage. Pawlowski said, “Let’s leave the fireworks to the professionals. I invite everyone to come out to watch the fireworks show at J. Birney Crum Stadium Sunday night.”
An ordinance amended by city council in 2005 sets the parameters for the use of fireworks in the city. In general, small novelties like party poppers, caps and sparklers are permitted in the city. So-called “consumer fireworks” like firecrackers, bottle rockets and Roman candles are illegal in Pennsylvania. Fireworks commonly known as M-80’s or “Blockbusters” are banned in the United States.
Fireworks are a violation of the city’s noise ordinance…The use or firing of explosives, fireworks, firearms, or similar devices which create impulsive sound so as to cause a noise disturbance across a real property boundary or on a public right-of-way, without first obtaining a variance. It is a SWEEP ticket offense that carries a $100 fine.
“Our police officers will be vigilant in enforcing our fireworks ordinance to the best of their ability,” said Dorney. “We don’t want people spoiling their holiday by paying a fine or ending up in custody.”
“I have seen the injuries to people and the damage to property caused by fireworks,” said Laubach. “Even devices like sparklers should be used safely and only by adults or under adult supervision.”
“We hope and pray that our people will obey the law and use what fireworks are legal with great care. Let’s do our part to try to reduce the injury statistics in 2017,” said Pawlowski.