The Honolulu Fire Department is reminding Oahu residents that only firecrackers are legal during the New Year's celebrations.
All other fireworks are now illegal for consumer use.
"We hope that people will respect the new Honolulu fireworks ordinance and the dangers of firecrackers," said Fire Chief Kenneth Silva. "While the number of fireworks-related injuries and fires on Oahu may not be as high as those nationwide, it is still too many for the public to suffer. We experience the same trends as other communities where consumer fireworks cause injuries (most often to children and teens) and fires on New Year?s Eve."
Silva says the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the public displays conducted by trained professionals on Oahu.
- Use only approved firecrackers from a licensed retail outlet that posts its retail license.
- Always read and follow warnings and instructions listed by the manufacturer to ensure the safe handling and use of firecrackers.
- Never point or throw firecrackers at a person, building, or animal.
- Never ignite firecrackers indoors. Ensure your outdoor area is safe for firecrackers use.
- Firecrackers should only be lighted on a smooth, flat surface away from buildings, dry vegetation, and flammable materials.
- Do not string firecrackers on utility poles.
- Keep ladders, poles, or tie lines used to set up firecrackers at least ten feet away from power lines.
- Never shoot firecrackers in metal or glass containers.
- Have a garden hose or a bucket of water ready in the event of a fire.
- Alcohol and firecrackers do not mix.
- Always wear eye protection when lighting firecrackers.
- When lighting firecrackers, never position any part of your body over them.
- Never attempt to relight malfunctioning firecrackers.
- Store firecrackers in a cool, dry place.
- Never carry firecrackers in your pocket.
- Never experiment with homemade fireworks. They are dangerous and illegal.
It is unlawful for any person in Honolulu to:
- Throw ignited fireworks at a person or an animal.
- Throw ignited fireworks from above the first floor of any building.
- Throw ignited fireworks from, at, or into a vehicle.
- Set off fireworks on public ways, in parks, cane fields, or places of worship.
- Set off fireworks on public beaches or in forest or wildlife preserves.
- Set off fireworks in school buildings or on school grounds.
- Set off fireworks within 1,000 feet of hospitals, health and elderly care facilities, and facilities for the care of animals, including the zoo.
- Set off fireworks within 500 feet from a hotel.
- Offer for sale, sell, or give any fireworks to minors. Honolulu's new ordinance makes it illegal for minors to use firecrackers on Oahu, even with adult supervision.
- Possess or use aerial fireworks unless the Fire Chief of the HFD issues a display permit per Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 132D.
- Transport fireworks in carry-on or checked luggage, airline cargo, or mail.
- Remove or extract pyrotechnic contents.
On Oahu, firecrackers may be set off, ignited, or discharged from 9 p.m. on December 31, 2011, until 1 a.m. on January 1, 2012.
The new Honolulu ordinance requires that firecracker permits be obtained no less than ten days before they are used.
Therefore, firecracker permits for the New Year?s Eve celebration are no longer available, as December 21 was the last day the public could purchase a firecracker permit.
The Honolulu Fire Department says 8,461 permits were issued this year compared with 10,008 permits in 2010.