If Delaware State Police follow their practice of the past several years, this week or next they will send out a press release warning citizens about the illegality of using — or even possessing — fireworks in the state of Delaware. It’s a routine matter state police address every year just before the July 4th holiday.
Although it’s only mid-June, my neighborhood has already recorded some incidents of illegal fireworks being used in close proximity to homes and boats. Charred or burning fireworks debris have landed on homes and decks in past years.
Violators of the fireworks laws probably don’t even think about the likelihood that their liability for injury or property damage probably wouldn’t be covered by their own insurance, because they’re engaging in unlawful conduct.
I respectfully suggest that even just a few well-publicized enforcement actions by Delaware State Police against people who violate the law, and endanger lives and property by using fireworks this year would probably have a much greater deterrent effect than merely issuing press releases without any enforcement.
Fireworks are a wonderful tradition on Independence Day. The only place to enjoy them in Delaware is when they’re conducted by licensed municipalities or organizations with appropriate fire and safety precautions in place.
(Editor’s note: On May 10, Gov. John Carney signed into law House Bill 53, which loosens restrictions on the purchase and use of fireworks by consumers in Delaware, permitting the use of some kinds of non-projectile fireworks between July 4 and Dec. 31.)