New Year’s Eve firecrackers, fireworks: permits, sales, rules, safety tips

Local News

Honolulu residents are allowed to purchase and use firecrackers only. All other fireworks are illegal for consumer use.

“We hope that people will respect the fireworks ordinance and understand the dangers associated with firecracker use. While the number of fireworks-related injuries on Oahu is typically lower than elsewhere in the nation, even a single incident is one too many because it causes suffering, which is preventable. If people take the necessary precautions and obey the rules, we will truly have a happy New Year’s Eve,” said Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel P. Neves.

Hawaii Island, Maui, and Kauai counties allow novelty fireworks, including sparklers, snakes, fountains and small cylindrical or cone fountains.

As a safe alternative, the public is urged to celebrate by attending a public fireworks display conducted by trained professionals.

Whatever your plans are, there are important details you should know.Permits, sale information and rulesOahu

The sale of firecrackers in the City and County of Honolulu begins on Dec. 26, 2015, and ends at 12 midnight on Dec. 31, 2015.

On Oahu, firecrackers may be set off, ignited, or discharged from 9 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2015, until 1 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2016.

A permit is required to purchase firecrackers on Oahu. Firecrackers must be purchased from licensed retailers no more than five days prior to its use. Retail licenses shall be prominently displayed in public view and secured at the location for which the license has been issued. Licensed retailers shall not sell more than 5,000 individual firecrackers per permit.

Honolulu’s fireworks ordinance requires that firecracker permits be obtained no less than 10 days before they are used. That deadline was Dec. 21.

The Honolulu Fire Department says 13,81 permits were sold this year, compared to 11,144 in 2014 and 10,922 in 2013.

According to Chapter 132D, HRS, the use of aerial fireworks is prohibited unless the HFD’s Fire Chief issues a display permit.Kauai

Meanwhile, those on Kauai have until Thursday, Dec. 31, to obtain a permit.

Applications are available at Kauai Fire Department headquarters located in the Piikoi building of the Lihue Civic Center, 4444 Rice St., Ste. 315, on weekdays from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Applicants must be at least 18 years old.

The cost of a permit is $25 and it can be used to purchase up to 5,000 non-aerial individual firecracker units. There is no limit on the number of permits an individual can obtain.

Only licensed pyro-technicians with proper permits are authorized to ignite aerial fireworks.

Although the following items are classified as fireworks, no permit is required to purchase them: snakes; sparklers; fountains; cylindrical or cone fountains; whistles; toy smoke devices; wheels and ground spinners; and other similar products.

Fireworks may only be ignited on private property from 9 p.m. on Dec. 31 to 1 a.m. on Jan. 1.

The Kauai Fire Department reminds the public that it illegal to set off fireworks on public property, including streets, sidewalks or parks. Removing the powder or pyrotechnic contents from any firework is prohibited.Maui

Fireworks permits are required to purchase the firecracker type of fireworks and are good for 5,000 firecrackers. Permit applicants must be 18 years or older and show proof of age at the time of permit processing. There is no limit to the number of permits a person may purchase and the cost of each permit is $25 payable by check/money order to the County of Maui. Cash will be accepted at the Fire Prevention Bureau and Pine Isle Market only.

Novelty fireworks such as sparklers, snakes, fountains and cylindrical or cone fountains which emit effects not higher than 12 feet off the ground do not require permits.

The hours and locations for fireworks permit processing follow:

Weekdays: December 21-31, 2015, during normal business hours, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

  • Fire Prevention Bureau – 313 Manea Place
  • Wailuku County Parks Permit Office
  • Lahaina Civic Center
  • County Parks Permit Office – 90 Ainoa Street (Kaunakakai, Molokai)

*County offices are closed on Dec. 25 in observance of Christmas Day.

December 26-31, 2015: The first day of fireworks sales is Dec. 26, 2015.

The following stores are selling permit-required firecrackers:

Lanai: Pine Isle Market

Molokai: Misaki’s Take’s Variety


  • All Foodland Supermarkets (including Lahaina Farms & Sack N Save Wailuku)
  • All Times Supermarkets
  • All CVS Longs Drugs Stores
  • All Walgreens Drug Stores
  • Haiku Mart
  • Napili Market
  • Pacific Starr Fireworks (Piilani Shopping Village)
  • TNT Fireworks (King’s Cathedral) & (Azeka Shopping Center)
  • Phantom Fireworks (Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center), (Kukui Mall) & (790 Eha Street, Wailuku Unit #4)

Fireworks Safety Tips

“We urge everyone to exercise caution when igniting fireworks to help prevent fires and avoidable injuries,” said Captain Daryl Date of the Kauai Fire Prevention Bureau.

  • Use only approved fireworks from a licensed retail outlet that posts its retail license.
  • Always read and follow warnings and instructions listed by the manufacturer to ensure the safe handling and use of fireworks.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at a person, building, or animal.
  • Never ignite fireworks indoors. Ensure your outdoor area is safe for fireworks use.
  • Fireworks should only be lit on a smooth, flat surface away from buildings, dry vegetation, and flammable materials.
  • Do not string fireworks on utility poles.
  • Keep ladders, poles, or tie lines that are used to set up fireworks at least ten feet from power lines.
  • Never ignite fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • Have a garden hose or a bucket of water ready in the event of a fire.
  • Fireworks must not be used by persons under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Always wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
  • When lighting fireworks, never position any part of your body over them.
  • Never attempt to reignite malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Never experiment with homemade fireworks, as they are dangerous and illegal.

General Fireworks Prohibitions

It is unlawful for any person on Oahu to:

  • Throw ignited fireworks at a person or an animal.
  • Throw ignited fireworks from above the first floor of any building.
  • Throw ignited fireworks from, at, or into a vehicle.
  • Set off fireworks on public ways, in parks, cane fields, or places of worship.
  • Set off fireworks on public beaches or in forest or wildlife preserves.
  • Set off fireworks in school buildings or on school grounds.
  • Set off fireworks within 1,000 feet of hospitals, health and elderly care facilities, and facilities that care for animals, including the zoo.
  • Set off fireworks within 500 feet from a hotel.
  • Offer for sale, sell, or give any fireworks to minors. Honolulu’s ordinance makes it illegal for minors to use firecrackers on Oahu, even with adult supervision.
  • Possess or use aerial fireworks, unless the HFD’s Fire Chief issues a display permit per Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 132D.
  • Transport fireworks in carry-on or checked luggage, airline cargo, or mail.
  • Remove or extract pyrotechnic contents.

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