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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Campbell County Attorney: here's what you need to know about fireworks and the law

By Steve Franzen, Campbell County Attorney 

The Fourth of July will be upon Campbell County sooner than we know it. Although this is a day of celebration and remembrance, this is not a reason to forgo and ignore the rules that are in place to keep citizens safe.  


Since 2011, the Kentucky Legislature has allowed consumer fireworks to be used and sold. The consumer fireworks can only be sold by individuals who have registered with the State Fire Marshal. This registration must be received by said fire marshal at least fifteen (15) days prior to the selling of fireworks. At the site in which fireworks are being sold, there is to be a registration certificate displayed in a conspicuous location. An individual is prohibited to sell any consumer fireworks to a person who is under the age of eighteen (18). Violations of these rules regarding fireworks could lead to a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) and/or imprisonment in the county jail up to thirty (30) days.  

Although the state of Kentucky allows the use of consumer fireworks, it is important to check with local governments to ensure that you are in compliance with the laws and ordinances. 

For example, within Fort Thomas, it is prohibited to purchase or use fireworks unless a permit is acquired. Such a permit can be obtained from the Chief of the Fire Department. Within Highland Heights, and other towns, it is prohibited to use or display fireworks without a permit. A display firework is one that is designed primarily designed to produce visible or audible effects by combustion, deflagration or detonation. This could include firecrackers that contain more than two grains of explosive composition or aerial shells that contain more than 40 grams of pyrotechnic composition. There is also the chance that the county, or local government, has a fire restriction in place. It is important to always check with local laws and ordinances before using any fireworks.  

Learn more.

If you are able to use fireworks, it is important to do so safely. Fireworks are dangerous, and improper handling could cause there to be injury to spectators and the person igniting the fireworks. The State Fire Marshal recommends the following safety tips to follow when using fireworks: 

-Use fireworks outdoors only 
-Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal in your area, do not use them 
-Always keep a bucket of water or a working water hose nearby 
-Only use the fireworks as intended. Do not try to alter or combine them 
-Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait twenty (20) minutes then soak it in a bucket of water 
-Use common sense. Spectators should be at a safe distance 
-The igniter of the fireworks should be cautious and wear safety glasses 
-Do not mix alcohol and fireworks. Always have a “designated adult operator” 
-Do not use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives, they can be dangerous 
-Report illegal explosives to the local authorities 
-Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks 
-Read and follow all instructions on the label 
I hope you have found this information helpful.  If you have any topics you would like to have covered in this column, please contact my office by e-mail at, by phone at 491-7700 or by regular mail addressed to 319 York Street, Newport, Kentucky 41071

Steve Franzen. Provided. 

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