City Manager Dan Fitzpatrick, Police Chief Paul Toussaint, and Fire Marshal Tim Wilder report that the City of Rochester recently updated its ordinance on the sale, storage, and use of fireworks.
City Ordinance 23.13 regulates fireworks in Rochester. Click here to download the newly updated ordinance.
“Fireworks are very much a part of celebrations and festivities, particularly around Independence Day, here in New Hampshire. The purpose of this updated ordinance is to ensure that those buying, selling, and using fireworks in Rochester do so safely and in conjunction with widely accepted best practices,” City Manager Fitzpatrick said.
Key points of the ordinance:
• Those wishing to put on a public fireworks display must obtain a permit from the Rochester Police and Fire Departments
• The Police and Fire Departments may conduct site inspections to ensure safety, and permits may be withdrawn if officials find unsuitable conditions for the safe display of fireworks
• Fireworks may not be used during period of very high or extreme fire danger as determined by the Fire Chief or the NH Division of Forests and Lands.
• Fireworks debris must remain on the property of the person displaying them
• Those using fireworks must remove debris within 24 hours, or the property owner will be billed by the city for cleanup costs
• Unfavorable weather conditions, such as high winds or thunderstorms, may cause the Police or Fire Chief to suspend the permissible use of fireworks
• No display of permissible fireworks shall be permitted within the City except between the hours of 6 p.m. and 11 p.m on the following holiday: Fourth of July (including the evening of July 3 beginning at 6 p.m., including from such time until midnight on any rain date established for the annual city-wide fireworks display held at the Rochester Fairgrounds), after obtaining a permit.
• Display of permissible fireworks shall be permitted on public property the evening of July 3rd beginning at 6 p.m., including from such time until midnight on any rain date established for the annual city-wide fireworks display held at the Rochester Fairgrounds, provided that such display shall be authorized in a duly issued Block Party Application/Permit from the City’s Licensing Board covering the public property on which the display is to occur.”
Only Class C fireworks are legal in New Hampshire. State law forbids the private use or sale of firecrackers, bottle rockets, missiles, sky rockets, handheld fountains and any device that produces solely smoke. The state has a list of frequently asked questions about fireworks here.
“Fireworks can and should be used safely, and here in Rochester we have established common sense policies that are meant to provide clear guidelines for those wishing to celebrate responsibly,” Chief Toussaint said.
Anyone with questions or who may be looking for a permit should contact the Rochester Police Department at 603-330-7127 or the Fire Department at 603-330-7545.