It’s fireworks season in Neosho, but that doesn’t mean it is open season.
Each year as the July 4th holiday approaches, Sgt. Johnny Humphries of the Neosho Police Department, said the department receives many queries regarding fireworks.
“You can possess them at any time, but to shoot them off is between June 20 and July 10, and the hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.,” Humphries said.
He said the same dates and times apply also to the sale of fireworks within the city limits.
What fireworks are legal in Neosho?
“Anything that goes up and explodes is the easiest way to remember it,” he said, regarding the types of fireworks that are not legal to shoot off inside Neosho city limits. “Bottle rockets, Roman candles – some people call them torpedo canes, that’s Roman candles – anything that goes up in the air and ‘bangs’, or explodes, that’s a violation of the ordinance,” he said. “That’s because of the fire hazard: you know, they come down and land on somebody’s house and it can catch on fire.”
Except for the Roman candles and bottle rockets, Humphries said if you can buy it legally in the city, you can shoot it off in the city. He said city parks are off limits unless you have a special permit from the city. Dan Decker, superintendent of the Neosho R-5 School District, said the district does not allow fireworks to be shot off on school grounds.
“People shooting them off after 10 o’clock,” is the most common complaint Humphries said the department receives about fireworks.
“A lot of people call here because you get them shooting them off at 1 and 2 o’clock in the morning,” he said. “You know, some people are sleeping. The people who are sleeping complain, that’s the biggest complaint we get.”
After July 10, Humphries said fireworks can not be legally shot off again until next June 20. He said people do shoot them off at New Years, but not legally.
“Generally then, unless someone calls we won’t say anything on that day, but the ordinance doesn’t make any exemptions for New Years,” he said.
The city of Neosho code of ordinances, section 215.195: Fireworks, states that fireworks shall not be stored in, nor dispensed from, a permanent building. Mike Eads, fire chief, said that means fireworks can only be sold and stored for sale in the traditional tents that pop up at this time of year, or other such non-permanent structures.
The ordinance also states that fireworks displays for the general public must be approved by the fire department, and that the manufacture of fireworks is prohibited within the city.
In order to sell fireworks, Neosho’s ordinance mandates that a city merchant’s licensed be purchased, with all locations to be inspected by the fire chief or the fire chief’s designee prior to the issuance of the license. Sales locations will be subject to the building and fire safety codes adopted by the city.
For more information, please call the fire department at 451-8021.