Fireworks restrictions vary across Leavenworth County

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

With Independence Day about a week away, local residents may already have noticed fireworks stands in some areas.

But restrictions on the use of personal fireworks vary throughout Leavenworth County.

Almost all fireworks are prohibited inside the city of Leavenworth.

"In a sense, if it explodes or flies, it is illegal," said Maj. Dan Nicodemus, deputy chief of the Leavenworth Police Department.

A city ordinance does allow toy smoke devices and toy paper caps.

Nicodemus said police officers can write citations for violations and confiscate fireworks.

"We try for compliance first and education," he said. "Most people are pretty receptive to it."

He said there is no way officers can catch every fireworks violation of the Fourth of July. But police will respond to complaints about fireworks.

Nicodemus said the Leavenworth Police Department has to prioritize the calls it receives on July 4.

The city of Lansing allows people to discharge fireworks from July 1-4. The hours in which fireworks can be discharged are limited to noon to 10 p.m. July 1-3 and from noon to 11 p.m. July 4, according to Ken Miller, public information officer for the city.

While fireworks are allowed in Lansing, Miller noted that bottle rockets are prohibited in Kansas by state law. He said people who are caught by police firing bottle rockets inside the city limits will be given citations and court dates.

The city of Basehor allows people to set off fireworks from June 30 to July 5. People can discharge fireworks in Basehor from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 30-July 3 and on July 5. Fireworks can be discharged on July 4 from 9 a.m. to midnight, according to the city's website.

In unincorporated areas of Leavenworth County, there are no restrictions on fireworks other than state law, Undersheriff Jim Sherley said.

Sherley encourages people to practice safety while discharging fireworks.

"Be smart in what you're doing," he said.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR

The Kansas State Fire Marshal's Office offers the following fireworks safety tips:

• Always ignite fireworks outdoors

• Have an adult supervise all fireworks activities

• Have a water supply nearby

• Light from a solid, flat and stable platform

• Light only one firework at a time

• Make sure fireworks debris is cooled off completely before disposal

• Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks

• Store fireworks in a cool, dry place

• Use a long-handled lighter