Chapter 8.17


8.17.010    Intent.

8.17.020    Public display of fireworks.

8.17.010 Intent.

It is the intent of this chapter to provide for the permitting of and safety related to public displays of fireworks. (Ord. 2011-01 § 9, 2011).

8.17.020 Public display of fireworks.

A. Every public display of fireworks shall be handled by a competent operator approved by a permit issued by the fire chief and be of such character, and so located, discharged, or fired, that, in the opinion of the chief after proper investigation, it will not constitute a hazard to property or endanger any person. Any person desiring a permit for a public display of fireworks must make an application in writing to the fire chief at least 10 days in advance of the proposed display according to the procedures outlined in WAC 212-17-270 through 212-17-280.

B. A state pyrotechnics license is required for operators of public displays of fireworks.

C. A bond or certificate of insurance from a company or companies approved by the town must be furnished to the department before a permit is issued. The bond shall be in the amount of $1,000,000 and shall be conditioned upon the applicant’s payment of all damages to persons and property resulting from or caused by the public display of fireworks or by any negligence in the presentation of the display on the part of the applicant or its agents, servants, employees, or subcontractors. The certificate of insurance shall evidence a comprehensive general liability insurance policy (including explosion and collapse hazards, automobile coverage, and Jones Act coverage where the base of operations is on water) providing $1,000,000 combined single limit for all coverage per occurrence. The policy shall name the town as an additional insured thereunder and stipulate it is primary coverage, regardless of what other insurance the town may carry on its own behalf. The town shall be given not less than 15 days’ advance written notice of any termination or material change to the policy.

D. Transportation and Storage.

1. All fireworks shall be transported within the town in accordance with 49 CFR Part 177 and 397.9(b) prior to reaching the display site.

2. As soon as the fireworks have been delivered to the display site, they shall be attended and shall remain dry.

3. All shells shall be inspected by the display operator upon delivery to the display site. Any shells having tears, leaks, broken fuses, or showing signs of having been wet shall be set aside and not fired. After the display, any such shells shall be either returned to the supplier or destroyed according to the supplier’s instructions.

4. All fireworks at the firing site must be stored in ready boxes (substantially constructed wood magazines). During the display, the magazines must be 25 feet upwind (relation to firing time) from the nearest mortar. Magazine lids must open in the opposite direction to the firing. All ready boxes are to be protected by a flameproof water repellent canvas cover until emptied.

5. The shell storage area shall be located at least 25 feet from the discharge site.

6. During the display, shells shall be stored upwind from the discharge site. If the wind shifts during the display, the shell storage area shall be relocated to be upwind from the discharge site.

E. Preparation of Site and Crowd Control.

1. All dry grass, weeds, and other combustible waste matter within 50 feet of the firing site shall be removed.

2. The site shall be located so that the trajectory of shells shall not come within 25 feet of any overhead object.

3. Discharged fireworks shall not come within 100 feet of any tent or canvas shelter.

4. The firing and storage site shall be located at least 200 feet from any building.

5. The operator shall provide sufficient security personnel to assure that no unauthorized persons are allowed within 200 feet of the firing and storage site. This requirement shall be in effect from one-half hour prior to the arrival of fireworks until all fireworks debris, equipment, and fireworks have been removed from the site.

6. Spectators shall be restrained behind lines or barriers at least 200 feet from the firing and storage locations.

F. Installation of Mortars.

1. Mortars shall be inspected for dents, bent ends, and cracked or broken plugs prior to ground placement. Mortars found to be defective in any way shall not be used. Any scale on the inside surface of the mortars shall be removed.

2. Mortars shall be positioned so that the shells are carried away from spectators and buildings. When fired over water, mortars shall be installed at an angle of at least 10 degrees, pointing toward the water.

3. Mortars shall be either buried securely into the ground to a depth of two-thirds to three-quarters of their length or fastened securely in mortar boxes or drums. In soft ground, heavy timber or rock slabs shall be placed beneath the mortars to prevent their sinking or being driven into the ground during firing.

4. In damp ground, a weather-resistant bag shall be placed under the bottom of the mortar prior to placement in the ground to protect the mortar against moisture.

5. Weather-resistant bags shall be placed over the open end of the mortar in damp weather to keep moisture from accumulating on the inside surface of the mortar.

6. Sandbags, dirt boxes, or other suitable protection shall be placed around the mortars to protect the operator from ground bursts. This requirement does not apply to the down-range side of the discharge site.

G. Operation of the Display.

1. The operator shall provide fire protection at the site as required by the fire chief.

2. Only permitted fireworks are authorized for use.

3. If, in the opinion of the fire chief or the chief’s authorized representative, lack of crowd control should pose a danger, the display shall be immediately discontinued until such time as the situation is corrected.

4. If, at any time, high winds or unusually wet weather conditions present a definite danger, in the opinion of the fire chief, the chief’s authorized representative, or the display operator, the public display shall be postponed until weather conditions allow the safe discharge of fireworks.

5. Light snow or mist need not cause cancellation of the display; however, all materials used in the display shall be protected from the weather until immediately prior to use.

6. Display operators and assistants shall use only flashlights or approved electric lighting for artificial illumination.

7. No smoking or open flames are allowed within 50 feet of the firing or storage area as long as shells are present. Signs to this effect shall be conspicuously posted.

8. The first shell fired shall be carefully observed to determine that its trajectory will carry it into the intended firing range and that the shell functions over, and debris falls into, the planned landing area.

9. The mortars shall be re-angled or reset, if necessary, at any time during the display.

10. When a shell fails to ignite in the mortar, the mortar shall not be touched for at least five minutes. After five minutes, it shall be carefully flooded with water. Immediately following the display, the mortar shall be emptied into a bucket of water. The supplier shall be contacted as soon as possible for proper disposal instructions.

11. Operators shall not attempt to repair a damaged shell, nor shall they attempt to dismantle a dry shell. In all such cases, the supplier shall be contacted as soon as possible for proper disposal instructions.

12. Operators shall not dry a wet shell, lance, or pot for reuse.

13. The entire firing range shall be inspected immediately following the display to locate any defective shells. Any such shells found shall be immediately doused with water before handling. The shells shall be placed in a bucket of water. The supplier shall then be contacted as soon as possible for proper disposal instructions.

14. When fireworks are displayed in darkness, the sponsor shall ensure that the firing range is inspected early the following morning.

15. Any fireworks remaining unfired after the display shall be immediately disposed of or removed from the town in a safe manner.

16. Operators shall properly dispose of all debris from discharged fireworks.

H. Denial by the chief of a permit for the public display of fireworks may be appealed to the town council. (Ord. 2011-01 § 10, 2011).