If you live in Manchester or Town and Country and were planning to hold your own fireworks display to celebrate the Fourth of July, you may want to think twice. That’s because the sale, use and possession of fireworks in St. Louis County is illegal.
“The ban also includes all 91 municipalities included within the county,” said Mac Scott, a county spokesperson. “Violation of the law could cost between $50 and $1,000. The fee is at the discretion of the judge.”
In Manchester, it is illegal to shoot off fireworks, but it not illegal to posses them, according to police. However, in Town and Country, it is illegal to both shoot them off and possess them.
"We respond to complaints and take action," Town and Country Police Cpt. Gary Hoelzer tells Patch.
Rick Eckhard, a spokesman for the St. Louis County Police Department, said his office steps up patrols around the holiday and typically receives an increased number of calls regarding the use of fireworks. Eckhard did not have any statistics on the number of tickets handed out for fireworks violations.
“Please call us if you hear fireworks or know of someone igniting them,” he said.
In Franklin, Jefferson and St. Charles counties, the use and sale of fireworks is permitted. However, some cities within those counties, like St. Peter’s, have bans prohibiting the practice.
If you do plan on using fireworks to celebrate the holiday, the state has several regulations regarding ignitions. In Missouri, it is illegal to:
- Set off fireworks within 600 feet of any church, hospital, mental health facility or school or within 100 feet of where fireworks are stored or sold;
- Ignite fireworks within 300 feet of any gas station or where gas is permanently stored;
- Throw fireworks from or into a motorized vehicle including watercraft or at or near any person.
Additionally, the National Council on Fireworks Safety recommends the following common sense tips on using fireworks:
- Only use fireworks outdoors;
- Be sure to have a water supply nearby;
- Wear safety glasses;
- Read the instructions on the fireworks carefully and follow the directions;
- Avoid alcohol;
- Don’t try to relight a dud firework;
- Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in the trash;
- Don’t use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives.
For more tips, visit the council’s website.