Increased Fireworks Enforcement Begins

July 3, 2008

Teams from the City of Madison Fire Department and Police Department will begin patrols Thursday, July 3, as part of an initiative to reduce the use of illegal fireworks.The move comes in response to hundreds of citizen complaints regarding noise and safety issues in neighborhoods throughout the City.

Under City of Madison ordinances only sparklers, snakes, snaps, caps and party poppers are legal within the City limits.

The intention of this year's stepped-up enforcement is to change behaviors, reduce the possession and limit the use of prohibited fireworks in Madison. The ultimate goal is to improve community safety and quality of life. Teams of police and fire prevention officers have been designated to patrol neighborhoods.

A citation bail amount of $172, and fines of up to $1000 plus court costs may be levied against individuals found to be using fireworks in violation of City ordinances, even for a first offense.

As a first step, the Fire and Police Departments are urging residents to stop this trend with a simple message regarding fireworks: Don't buy them; don't use them.

Facts About Fireworks:
On Independence Day in a typical year, more U.S. fires are
reported than on any other day; fireworks account for half of
those fires.

In 2005, fireworks caused an estimated 1,800 total structure
fires and 700 vehicle fires.

These 2,500 fires resulted in an estimated 60 civilian injuries and
$39 million in direct property damage.

In 2006, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated
9,200 people for fireworks-related injuries.

1/3 of the people injured by fireworks were under the age of 15.

The risk of fireworks injury was 2 1/2 times as high for children
ages 10-14 as for the general population.

Sparklers, fountains, and novelties alone accounted for 28% of
the emergency room fireworks injuries in 2006.

The risks with fireworks are not limited to displays, public or
private - risks exist wherever fireworks are manufactured,
transported, or stored.

Contact:
  • Lori Wirth, PIO, 608-266-5947