As 2019 comes to a close, many will be ringing in the new year with a bang. And with that, officials will be enforcing new and existing fireworks laws.
“Sparklers, Jumping Jacks, anything that shoots out, even Fountains are illegal this year,” said Carl Otsuka, Fire Inspector from the Honolulu Fire Department.
Only firecrackers purchased with a permit are allowed.
“The address you put where you’re going to pop the firecrackers is where the permit needs to be and if you’re unable to pop all the firecrackers that you bought this year, you would need another permit for Fourth of July or New Year’s,” said Otsuka.
Officials say 17,804 permits were issued this year, that’s up by about 130 from last year.
And that’s okay for Julie Ito who’s all about the culture.
“You have to blow it up just before New Year’s and you have to have the red paper that was just the whole thing. We didn’t have that then there was just no good luck so we always did it for good luck,” said Ito.
Enforcement this year will be different because under a new law, property owners and renters are responsible for any aerial fireworks that are ignited, stored, or released from their property. Depending on the amount you can be charged with a felony.
“I’m okay with that. I wouldn’t want anybody to throw fireworks and it lands in my house and something goes off,” said Dinah Yanza of Kaimuki.
“I think it’s going to be difficult for some neighbors to be doing that that to their neighbors they’ve known for a long time and I think it’s going to be hard to enforce,” said Ito.
You can still buy firecrackers up until midnight, December 31st. They may only be set off between 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day.