Knowing state law as it pertains to fireworks can save you from more than just criminal charges and hefty fines — it might well aid in keeping all your appendages in tact over this Fourth of July celebration.
It’s against the law for residents to import fireworks to Hawaii Island without a license from the Hawaii Fire Department.
The only fireworks approved by HFD and legally sold in West Hawaii will be available at the Phantom Fireworks Tent in the Kona Commons Shopping Center Parking Lot.
To legally purchase fireworks, buyers must obtain a permit from the Fire Administration Office, which is located in Building E on the second floor at the West Hawaii Civic Center. The county will sell permits through that office from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. today, as well as during the same hours Monday and Tuesday. All proceeds will go into the county’s general fund.
Each permit costs $25 and allows the purchase of a max of 5,000 firecrackers. Permits are only necessary to procure paper firecrackers and aren’t needed to obtain sparklers or fountains or the like.
Aerial luminary devices like sky lanterns or Hawaii lanterns are illegal for personal use in all contexts and no permit can be obtained to legally purchase such items. Anyone who would like to dispose of such a device may do so with amnesty by contacting HFD at 932-2911.
The public may only use fireworks between the hours of 1-9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4. Use at any other time is illegal.
Other illegal activities involving fireworks include throwing them from a vehicle, using them on school grounds, using them within 1,000 feet of any hospital, nursing home or animal shelter, using them within 1,000 feet of a church, using them on any public road, alley or walkway, and selling them to minors. It is also illegal for minors to use firecrackers without the supervision of an adult.
HFD asks all those using fireworks legally to do so away from buildings, vehicles, flammable materials and dry grass. Wetting down the area of fireworks use before setting them off and soaking fireworks in water after their use but prior to their disposal is also key to preventing fires.