Fireworks can be shot off, during certain hours only, July 1-3, in the city limits.

When most people think of celebrating the Fourth of July fireworks are the first thing that comes to mind. Before purchasing and setting off fireworks this year, be sure you are following Chillicothe’s City ordinances, if you plan on shooting them off inside the city limits.

“Each year when the fireworks stand open and begin selling fireworks, the police department begins receiving numerous calls of citizens shooting fireworks prior to allowed dates and times,’ Chief Jon Maples said.

According to Chillicothe ordinances, legal fireworks may be discharged within the city limits between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., July 1 - 3 and between 8 a.m.-11 p.m., on July 4. The ordinance does allow to alternate dates, should a fireworks ban be in place because of weather or other basis, then the city will allow consumer fireworks to be discharged on other dates as set by the council.

Nate Swann, Trenton, is running Hales’ Fireworks this year, on the north side of Chillicothe and said that while the stand was inspected and approved to begin selling on June 21, they typically do not have many sales until just days before residents can legally discharge fireworks within the city limits.

“It is really slow until June 29 or 30,” he said. “After that it starts to pick-up and get busier everyday until July 4.” Hale’s Fireworks has a permit to be open through July 7.

There are certain types of fireworks the city ordinance bans. Banned fireworks include: “bottle rockets, rockets of all types and sizes and any and all fireworks with an aerial trajectory having a cylinder or cartridge that is not intended to be completely consumed by landing and aerial luminaries. It is also against the ordinance to set off or launch luminaries. According to city ordinance a lantern is defined as “a lantern, commonly of paper with a bamboo or other frame, using an attached heat source to become and remain airborne by the use of heated air. Other common names for an "Aerial Luminaire" include but are not limited to, Chinese sky lantern, Hawaii sky lantern, sky lantern, Kongming lantern, flying lanterns, floating lanterns, sky candles, or wish candles.”

Maples said every year his department gets numerous calls about bottle rockets, specifically. While fireworks are legal in the city limits, form July 1-4, there are certain areas they cannot be set-off. The ordinance states, “No fireworks shall be discharged within 600 feet of any church, hospital, or place where gasoline, petroleum products, propane, or flammable gas or chemicals are sold or stored.”

Section “G” of the ordinance discusses storage and discharge, but does also discuss actions residents themselves cannot take when it comes to setting off fireworks. Keep in mind violating any section of the ordinance can result in a fine, jail time or both.

“No person shall ignite or discharge any fireworks within or throw the same from a motor vehicle, nor shall any person place or throw any ignited article of fireworks into or at such a motor vehicle, or at or near any person or group of people.”

Section “G” also states, “It shall be unlawful for any person to throw or place any fireworks, including pyrotechnic devices, in such a manner that the explosion of same will be likely to endanger or cause injury or damage to any person or property.”

Maples said, being safe and making sure to use fireworks in a responsible manner should be everyone’s top concern.“Safety is important.”

Maples passed along other safety tips, including: be sure there is adult supervision for children when using fireworks; having a hose or other water source on hand in case of a fire; pay attention to small children especially when setting off fireworks; be sure all fireworks are placed in a metal container and stored outside until they are properly cooled.