Officials urge caution with fireworks

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 29, 2009

VIDALIA — For some, the New Year is a chance to resolve to live better. For others, it’s a good time to quit some bad habits.

And for many, it’s a time to light the sky with exploding phosphorescent projectiles.

But where you live may determine if — and when — you get to participate in the last of those activities.

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In Vidalia, a ban on the use of fireworks is on the books, but Police Chief Ronnie G. “Tapper” Hendricks said the city has a long tradition of lenience toward firework users if they keep the use within reasonable hours.

“We are not too hard on them, but if we get a complaint, we have to respond to it and shut them down,” Hendricks said.

“Pretty much everybody in Vidalia gets along and caters to each other, so we usually don’t have a problem.”

Even with the unofficial allowance of fireworks in the city limits, Hendricks said that on New Year’s Eve no one should be shooting any more fireworks after midnight.

“A lot of people like to have a grand finale at midnight, so have a grand finale at midnight, but after that shut it down,” he said.

In Natchez, there’s no law on the books against fireworks, but Police Chief Mike Mullins said shooting fireworks in the city limits isn’t allowed because of other laws in place.

“If we get a complaint of fireworks, we give them one warning to stop, and after that we would make a citation or make an arrest,” Mullins said.

The citations would be for disturbing the peace and violation of the city fire code, Mullins said.

Ferriday residents will be allowed to shoot fireworks within the city limits through Jan. 2 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., Ferriday Assistant Fire Chief Herman Smith said.

On New Year’s Eve, the use of fireworks will be allowed through 1 a.m.

While the unincorporated areas of Adams County and Concordia Parish don’t have restrictions on when or if fireworks can be used, Concordia Fire District No. 2 Chief Nolen Cothern urged people to be cautious when using them.

“They need to have somebody supervise their children while they are doing it, because a lot of people get their eyes put out or get burned doing that this time of year,” he said.