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Waukesha police remind residents to follow fireworks ordinance

June 30, 2014

It's that time of the year, when fireworks light up the sky and kids and adults flock to parks to watch annual fireworks shows.

But it's also a time when people are lighting off their own fireworks.

Over the last couple of weeks, the Waukesha Police Department has received several complaints all across the city from residents reporting their neighbors lighting off fireworks.

That's not out of the norm, but police want to remind Waukesha residents that they should leave the fireworks displays to the professionals at the parks.

If not, it could very well result in a citation, the police department warns.

The Waukesha police are asking for the cooperation of everyone in making the Fourth of July celebration as safe as possible.

The police department put out a public notice to residents on its Facebook page asking everyone to abide by the city's municipal ordinance on the regulation of fireworks.

The ordinance states that "no person shall sell, expose, offer for sale, use, keep discharge or explode any fireworks."

Sparklers are allowed as long as they do not exceed 36 inches in length and 1/4-inch in diameter. Devices that produce an audible sound but do not explode or spark are also allowed, as is any device that emits smoke and does not leave the ground.

Lt. Joe Hendricks of the Waukesha Police Department said whether a citation is given depends on the offense.

"It depends on how often we've been there and the time of day and how adamant of a complaint we're getting and if this continues to be a repeat offender," Hendricks said.

Hendricks said police want to get the message out in advance of the Fourth of July celebrations that it's not OK to light off your own fireworks and that residents need to follow the ordinance.

"We want to be proactive and get it out in front of the public so there is cooperation," he said.

The Facebook post added: "We ask that every celebration takes place responsibly."

For the complete fireworks ordinance see bit.ly/fireworksordinance.

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