Amateur pyrotechnicians, take note: There’s been a change this year in Sedgwick County’s fireworks rules.
Sedgwick County residents can no longer lawfully sell, ignite or otherwise use sky lanterns, also called Chinese lanterns. Sedgwick County’s Fire District 1 website notes the lanterns can travel significant distances and have been known to start fires upon landing, particularly if they come into contact with roofs, hay storage or fields.
To keep Independence Day celebrations safe and legal, residents should take note of the county’s regulations.
Fireworks are legal in unincorporated Sedgwick County, as long as they are labeled as Class C consumer fireworks, or those allowed in the state of Kansas. Bottle rockets are illegal, as are any other rockets mounted on a wire or stick.
Legal fireworks may be shot from July 1 through July 4 in unincorporated Sedgwick County. However, city fireworks regulations vary widely, so residents are encouraged to check with their municipality before purchasing fireworks.
The county also offers these safety tips:
• Small children should not handle fireworks; even sparklers can be harmful if mishandled.
• Older children and young adults should be monitored by an adult when handling fireworks.
• Always keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby.
• Take old or illegal fireworks to a fire station or soak them in water until they unravel.
• Follow the directions on the packages closely.
• Do not hold fireworks that have been ignited.
• Try to light fireworks on gravel, concrete or a hard surface that will not ignite.
• Keep fireworks away from dry grass, hay, trees and all structures.
• Pay attention to dry, windy conditions and to burn bans – do not ignite fireworks during these times.
Sedgwick County 911 operators will staff a non-emergency phone line specifically for fireworks complaints. Residents can report fireworks complaints by calling 316-290-1011 between the hours of 6:30 p.m. and 3 a.m. July 4, 5 and 6.