Just in time for Independence Day, Lakewood is reminding residents that no fireworks of any kind are legal in the city.
The ban includes sparklers, Roman candles, smoke bombs and — after the June 24 City Council meeting — sky lanterns as well.
“Everything is illegal here, and that’s been the case for several years now,” said Lakewood Police public information officer Steve Davis. “Fireworks are illegal to sell, buy and use in the city.”
According to Kit Lammers, communications manager with the city, sky lanterns are essentially small hot-air balloons made out of paper, with an opening at the bottom where a small fire is suspended. He said the lanterns pose a significant fire danger because there is no controlling where they will float off to and land.
Davis said enforcement of the fireworks ban used to be based on calls to the police department, but now the city puts extra officers out on the days leading up to July Fourth and on the actual holiday; their sole assignment is to enforce the ban.
“We also have volunteers from civilians who are out on the street and report any firework usage to us so we can respond properly,” Davis said.
Anyone caught with fireworks will have them confiscated and be issued a summons to Lakewood municipal courts, where they will be issued a fine. Davies said the fine is about $300, but could be as high as $1,000.
Lakewood has been working hard to decrease the risk of fire in the city. During the same June 24 City Council meeting at which sky lanterns were added to the fireworks list, the council passed an ordinance requiring that notification about any fire bans be put on the city’s website and at any park or public venues.
The council also passed an ordinance that allowed for fire bans and restrictions to be implemented not only in city parks, but citywide. There are two stages of restriction, and Lammers said the city worked with West Metro on the ordinances.
“When you look around the state and see how dry everything is, then everyone should be prudent about the danger,” Davis said.
For more information, go online to www.lakewood.org/fireworks.