SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — In recent years, Sioux City officials created a firework ordinance to address the issues they were having. Now, with just a week and a half until the parotic holiday, officials are doing what they can to both educate and remind community members of the new rules.
What may be fun to some can be terrifying and harmful to others, city officials are working to inform the public about the potential dangers of setting off your own fireworks.
“We’re seeing an uptick in injuries and home related damage, we want to make sure that people are safe and only setting them off during the appropriate times,” said Alex Watters, a Sioux City Council member.
The set time frame allowed in Sioux City is 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. on only July 3 and July 4, but Watters said safety isn’t the only concern.
“We receive a lot of reports of veterans with PTSD that are really affected by the setting off of fireworks, even pets,” said Watters.
Another reason why the days and times you can set off fireworks are limited in the first place.
Officer Jeremy McClure said despite being more than a week away, they’ve already started receiving reports of non-permitted firework use.
“We had 126 calls in a one week period, about the same time last year, this year we’ve had approx. 59 calls, overall the calls are down but we are still receiving calls and still hearing a lot of fireworks going off,” said McClure.
McClure adds, those that are shooting off fireworks.. may be handed a $250 fine or a citation.
The department has already issued four citations and will pass out more if necessary.
“If people are unable to follow the ordinance and shoot them off in a responsible manner during the given time period, ultimately there’s a lot of people asking for their ban all together,” said Watters.
Like resident Maggie Rodriguez, whose also a nurse, and every holiday sees the surge of patients that come in for firework-related injuries, like severe burns.
“I don’t think that fireworks are a good idea, in any holiday, Fourth of July, I think they should be banned all together, I think if fireworks are going to be out, it should be in a controlled environment. Too many ambulance visits. A lot of people are going to ER’s for stuff that doesn’t need to happen,” said Rodriguez.
“We want to allow people to set them off and celebrate the holiday, we just ask for people to do it in a way that respects their neighbors,” said Watters.
If residents hear fireworks going before designated times on July 3 and July 4, call the Sioux City Police Department at 712-279-6960.